Although frequently virtue-signaling in public, Assemblymember Simotas has been a firm supporter of keeping the SHSAT high-stakes exam as the sole admissions criteria in NYC public specialized high schools.
From: “Aravella Simotas” <[email protected]> Date: June 27, 2019 at 12:19:40 PM EDT To: [Redacted] Subject: RE: Please OPPOSE A2173 on NYC Specialized High School Admissions
Dear [Redacted]: Thank you for your letter concerning the Specialized High School Admissions Test.
They got some relief Wednesday when Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat who attended Brooklyn Technical High School, told reporters he isn’t considering a deal to pass that bill in return for other changes, such as boosting gifted programs.
“I think we should be looking to enrich our junior high-school students as we try to put them on the path to whether it’s a specialized high school or not,” Mr. Heastie said after meeting with New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.
Assemblymember Latrice Walker advocates for keeping the SHSAT exam as the sole admission’s criteria in New York City specialized high schools.
Even as Assemblymember Walker’s district compromises many students who have shown their academic merit but will never have a chance to attend a public specialized high school, her position is not unexpected. Assemblymember Walker is an alumnus of a specialized high school. And alumni mostly support continuing the misguided tradition of using a single bubble test as the sole measure of students’ academic ability.…
Assembly-member William Colton is a proponent of keeping the SHSAT exam as the SOLE measure of merit for access to Specialized High Schools.
Assembly-member Colton conveniently leaves out the fact that NYC’s gifted & talented programs actually increase segregation. Parents from across the city opportunity hoard these competitive seats and we have a replay of the SHSAT issue but with 5 year-olds.
Assembly-member Yuh-Line Niou is a proponent of keeping the SHSAT exam as the SOLE measure of merit for access to Specialized High Schools.
Although her website claims to be against standardized testing, this is false. Speaker Heastie reported that assembly-member Niou was one of the key assembly-members to lobby against allowing the 2018 SHSAT bill on the floor for a vote.
In blocking this vote, assembly-member Niou blocked a proposal that would fix a historic under-representation of girls in our top STEM high schools.…
With a sense of tragic déjà vu, reactionary forces are once again pushing back against any proposed integration of prestigious, but largely segregated, schools. This development is so predictable that it would be comical – were it not for the terrible consequences. Already, several irate New Yorkers have called my district office to voice their displeasure with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to diversify New York City’s elite specialized high schools. Many of these phone calls possess the same overt racial animus of years past, with arguments that had served the same purpose then: to maintain the broken status quo.