Specialized High Schools Are Under Attack

Specialized High Schools Are Under Attack

Blog post by: Charles Vavruska
This story originally appeared in http://squaredeal-ny.com/blog

Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech, known as the Specialized High Schools (there are five smaller schools created during the Bloomberg administration), are the best high schools in New York City and among the best, if not the best, in the country. Admission to the Specialized High Schools is based on a single admissions test known as the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test or SHSAT.  The SHSAT is an academically rigorous test which is half math and half verbal, similar to the SAT. The SHSAT is merit based and completely objective. It is the student taking the test who, based on his or her score, is in control of whether he or she is admitted to a Specialized High School. There are no admissions officers, verifying subjective criteria, whose decisions are influenced by their biases. There are no subjective essays on the SHSAT and there is no partial credit. A student’s score does not differ based on who is grading it.

Admissions to the Specialized High Schools based on the SHSAT has created a student body many of whom are admitted to the most selective colleges in the country and among the three has produced 14 Nobel Prize winners which is more than all but 13 countries. In most places schools like these would be only for the privileged, but not in New York City.  For decades the schools have been providing opportunity for children who come not from privilege but often from meager circumstances. Children of immigrants whose families came to America with nothing, have been able to work hard and exploit their God given abilities to get into these great schools. For thousands of New York’s children the Specialized High Schools have been a pathway to achieving the American Dream.   Read more. 

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