Crain's Criticizes Exam
For Elite High Schools
Crain's New York Business thoroughly covers NYC's major industries, including Wall Street, media, the arts, real estate, retail, restaurants and more.
Monday, October 22nd, 2012

For the past two weeks, we have been bringing you opinions about the education of gifted children in NYC’s public high schools. The issue arose when the NAACP complained to the Federal Department of Education that the current test for children seeking admission to the city’s specialized high schools does not predict academic success.

Their complaint alleges that the test’s reliance on reading and mathematics precludes the measurement of other skills which contribute to overall intelligence. They say that it disregards a student’s grades, participation in extra-curricular activities and leadership qualities.

Achievement Is The Answer
John Hamilton McWhorter V is an American linguist and political commentator.
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

This week we have been discussing a perennial issue concerning the education of gifted children in the public schools. Should they attend schools with children of equal ability in enriched programs, or should they be mixed with the general population of the school, which is taken from the neighborhood in which the school is located?

That issue, which has been argued over for generations, arose again on September 27, when the NAACP and seven supporting organizations filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education about the Specialized High School Admissions Test, which has been required for applicants to eight elite high schools, viz. Bronx Science, Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech and five newer schools scattered among the boroughs.  This test has been given for many years, I took it in 1947. - (SQ)

Testing Standards
Reduce Diversity
In Elite Schools
Edward C. Sullivan served in the New York State Assembly from 1977 to 2002.
Sunday, October 14th, 2012

The Specialized High School Achievement Test which the New York City Department of Education uses to select students to eight specialized high schools has come under fire from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. They have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education that the test is not predictive of success in these high schools and that its use has led to a diminution of the enrollment of minorities in the schools, which means fewer will enter the work force and the middle class.

According to the complaint  “These eight prestigious institutions, …  provide a critical pathway to opportunity for their graduates, many of whom go on to attend the country’s best colleges and universities and later become leaders in our nation’s economic, political, and civic life.”

Michael Benjamin was elected to four terms of office as a Member of the New York State Assembly.
Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Monday we wrote about the Specialized High School Admissions Test given by the Department of Education for admission to eight prestigious high schools in New York City including Bronx Science and Stuyvesant. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund has challenged the current system on the basis of the small percentage of Black and Latino students admitted to the elite high schools. There is another disparity, with the number of Asians in these schools far exceeding their percentage of the population.

Opinion varies about whether the examination is predictive of academic success in these high schools, if the disparate scores of ethnic groups are the product of past or present discrimination and if the test should be changed to include non-verbal questions.

Today’s column, defending the examination, was written by Michael Benjamin, 1977 graduate of The Bronx High School of Science who served four terms in the New York State Assembly.  It appeared in The New York Post on October 3, under the title “ Don’t Dare Mess With Bronx Science”

Specialized School
Exams Criticized
Henry J. Stern is the founder and president of New York Civic.
Monday, October 8th, 2012

The  NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a complaint with the US Department of Education on September 27. They objected to the written test, known as the Specialized High School Admissions Test, which the city uses to select students who will attend eight highly regarded high schools.

Today, The Wall Street Journal reported on the adoption of a change to a test used as a part of the admissions process for the city’s gifted and talented program for students from kindergarten through third grade.

These are complex issues and we intend to be involved in the public discussion of this subject. We start by recounting the experience of this blogger when he first encountered the Board Of Education and its procedures for sorting students.

This subject is of particular interest to me because of my own experiences in the New York City school system many years ago.

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