Home > Uncategorized > Standardized Testing on the Ropes at the Local Level in NYC as SHSAT is Suspended for 2020-21

Standardized Testing on the Ropes at the Local Level in NYC as SHSAT is Suspended for 2020-21

November 29, 2020

Chalkbeat writer and Brooklyn Tech alum Haley Lucas wrote a thoughtful and persuasive essay calling for the end of standardized tests to gain entry to NYC’s “Elite” High Schools. As noted in many earlier blog posts, the SHSAT is the exclusive metric used to screen students for entry into eight competitive high schools in New York City. Given the impact of the pandemic on public schools, Ms. Lucas suggests that NOW is the time to abandon this test, which has unfairly screened out otherwise qualified students. She writes: 

The test has long been controversial and, frankly, problematic, as a metric that has worked to keep many Black and brown students out of specialized high schools. Now, it also faces logistical hurdles, with school buildings closed and social-distancing guidelines in place.

In the convoluted governance world of NYC schools, the State legislature will ultimately determine if the test can be replaced… but… as noted in Ms. Lucas’ essay, NYS law only requires that these tests be used in THREE of the eight high schools that currently use it: 

Stuyvesant High School, Brooklyn Tech, and Bronx Science are the only schools that are mandated by the Hecht- Calandra Act to administer the exam as a requirement for admission. The other specialized high school not bound by law should use alternative admission measures this year no matter what.

As noted in earlier posts… the only positive by-product of the pandemic for public schools and education in general might be the complete abandonment of standardized tests as a total re-thinking of what schools SHOULD be about. The good news is that such a re-thinking is underway….



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