How Fair Is the SHSAT?

The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is the standardized test used as the sole criteria for admission to the eight specialized high schools in New York City, including Stuyvesant High School, the Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical High School. Today’s Wall Street Journal had an interesting article that points out that Mayor de Blasio’s plan to admit the top 7% of performers in each middle school would allow students who didn’t pass state seventh grade tests to be admitted into these schools.

As I said in my quote in the article, it’s hard to imagine that students who failed state tests could succeed in a specialized high school where coursework is more rigorous. However, that doesn’t mean that those students don’t have other skills that would enable them to do well.

Besides, replacing one controversial test with another controversial test doesn’t seem to address the serious inequity in the specialized schools, where the proportion of black and Hispanic students is far below the citywide proportion. The full article is here:

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