Homework for regular classes is supposed to be capped at an hour over two days, or two hours for Advanced Placement classes, Giordano explained.
Much of the discussion about the path forward has often been mired in the debate over academic standards.
“It often comes down to this zero sum game, that in order to support students’ mental health that we need to give a little on the academics,” he said. “I think they’re both possible. They both need to be possible.”
Yet for years, neither the mayor nor the Legislature — nor anyone in Hunter College leadership — has taken the necessary action to overhaul a system that bases admissions to the most coveted schools on just a test, the SHSAT or the Hunter test. There’s not a single elite college in America that bases its admissions only on SAT or ACT scores, yet New York City’s best high schools make a single, homegrown exam make or break for thousands of students, despite results that worsen segregation.
6-minute student short documentary “SHSAT AND SEGREGATION” by teen student Micha Hervey.
Micha did an excellent job, and though our vote maybe biased, would get our nod for an Emmy if we had one.…
I asked if there was any plan to offer integrated co-teaching in the fall. “Not that we know of,” came the response. I then asked how many special education teachers they had on staff. Despite everything I already knew about Tech and the competitive admissions process to get there, I was still shocked: the answer was two. There were two special education classroom teachers for nearly 6,000 students.
Parents spend thousands of dollars, students “study to the test” for years. The most popular ( largest ) SHSAT prep program ( Kahn’s Tutorial ) reportedly charges about $2,500 for an 11-month course.
Michelle Zhang, a freshman at Stuyvesant High School, knows first hand.
“I was in test prep for the SHSAT for three years from when I was in 5th grade to the test,” she said.
Zhang’s parents spent thousands of dollars for her private tutoring, a benefit many students living in majority minority neighborhoods can’t afford.
Over the course of our meetings, many students lamented the lack of diversity at our schools, specifically with regard to black and Latino students. They shared that the lack of representation at their schools created environments that bred racism and other forms of prejudice both inside and outside the classroom.
This atmosphere does not foster the inclusivity and diversity that all New York City public high schools ought to embody, and inhibits underrepresented students from experiencing their education as equals. While the paucity of black and Latino and Latina students at the specialized schools is certainly reflective of larger, systemic flaws in equitable access to New York’s education system, their absence also prevents white and Asian students at those schools from receiving an education that lives up to the spirit of Brown vs.
This opinion piece dates SHSAT test prep to the 1950s. Of course, the entrance exam was not called “SHSAT” back then, and there was one exam per school.
When I was an 8th grade student in the 1957-58 school year at George Gershwin JHS, a jewel of a school recently opened on Linden Blvd in East NY section of Brooklyn, male students were offered an opportunity to take an after school class in prepping for the test for Brooklyn Tech, at the time the only specialized high school that went from 9th-12th grade.
Standardized test scores aren’t a good predictor of whether a student will succeed.
No one knows that more than Obrian, an A-student, track star, and activist at Brooklyn Tech.
Just because students are intelligent enough to pass a test doesn’t mean they understand people who might be ethnically, racially or culturally different.
That’s what happened to Gordon in his freshman biology class when his lab partner blamed him for the AIDS virus. Or when he was told to “go back to Africa” because he disagreed with some of his peers on the merits of the Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT).
And both of us have repeatedly heard something along the lines of, “Black people don’t care about education.”