Calls to change admissions process at elite high schools - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Calls to change admissions process at elite high schools

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A group of lawmakers and the teachers union are calling for changes to the admissions process for New York City’s elite high schools.

The proposal would require specialized high schools like Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan to include other measures other than a single test score.

The system in place for Stuyvesant and seven other specialized high schools relies on test scores from a single exam, the SHSAT, which dates back to 1971.

The bill looks to increase fairness in the admission process, with an emphasis on an increase in diversity across the specialized schools, according to the UFT.

The union cites elite universities and their use multiple measures of evaluation in their admission process.

“Under the current admission system, black and Hispanic students who represent 70 percent of our student body make up a tiny proportion of the students in the three traditional ‘exam’ schools,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the UFT. “No one with real experience in New York City believes that out of roughly 52,000 black and Hispanic eighth graders, only 28 are worthy of a Stuyvesant education.”

Blacks and Hispanic students account for 12% of admission to the city’s eight specialized high schools, but account for almost 75% of students across the city, according to the New York Daily News.

“While the SHSAT provides some measure of assessing a student’s academic strength, it does not speak to the talents and abilities of the whole child,” said State Senator Simcha Felder, the prime sponsor of the bill. Felder added by saying testing alone “cheats our youth of the best educational opportunities.”

Mayor de Blasio is among the critics who agree that the single test score process does not fully measure a student’s ability. Lawmakers believe the bill can become a law with the support of de Blaiso.


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