SHSAT in the News

Links to Press Reports and Events (most recent at top)

February 6, 2019, Gotham Gazette
Enough DOE Deception Around Admittance to Specialized High Schools

How many times is the Department of Education going to mislead the public in connection with the city’s effort to eliminate the test used to select students for admission to its highest performing high schools?

Reasonable people can disagree about the value of changing admissions to Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and five other schools that use the Specialized High School Admissions Test. But facts should matter to the DOE.

The latest case in point concerns the city’s announcement that it was changing the Discovery Program to improve the numbers of black and Latino students at these schools. By taking an intensive summer program, Discovery is an alternative mechanism for disadvantaged students who just miss the SHSAT cutoff to gain admission to these highly selective schools.

January 31, 2019, Chalkbeat
What New York City’s specialized high schools would have looked like under an admissions overhaul, according to a new report

If the mayor’s controversial proposal to overhaul admissions at specialized high schools were in place last year, more girls would have been accepted, and the number of charter schools with students receiving offers would have jumped by almost 50 percent, according to a review of the plan by the city’s Independent Budget Office.

The office also found that average grades for students with offers would inch upwards, but state test scores would slip notably in math (and slightly in English). Offers to Asian students would have been cut almost in half, but those students would still make up the greatest share of acceptances, according to the report released Thursday night.

January 18, 2019, Chalkbeat
Four takeaways from New York City’s response to discrimination charges in specialized high schools lawsuit

Enrollment through the Discovery programs is expected to grow to 13 percent of seats at specialized high schools this summer, city lawyers wrote. That would bring the total number of students admitted through Discovery to 528, more than double last summer’s class of 252.

City leaders have previously said Discovery would be expanded gradually to eventually account for 20 percent of seats by the 2020-2021 school year. But it had been unclear until now what this year’s expansion numbers would be.

January 15, 2019, Politico
Cuomo proposes 3-year extension of mayoral control

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing the extension of mayoral control of city schools for an additional three years, the longest extension Mayor Bill de Blasio has received since he first took office in 2014.

The legislation, which the governor unveiled as part of his State of the State address Tuesday, marks the first time the mayor could receive a three-year renewal and the second time he could win a multi-year extension. The executive budget advances legislation that would extend mayoral control until June 30, 2022.

December 26, 2018, Daily News
Jake Fisher, Opinion
De Blasio vs. great middle schools: His plan to end the SHSAT would devastate the best junior highs in New York

Mayor de Blasio’s plan to improve diversity at specialized high schools will have collateral damage: the inadvertent destruction of the city’s citywide gifted and talented middle schools.

Currently, the sole bar for entry to the specialized high schools, a group of nine schools including Stuyvesant and Bronx Science renowned for academic excellence, is a single standardized test taken in eighth grade, the SHSAT……

Fisher is a freshman studying computer science at Columbia University. He graduated from the Anderson School and Trinity School.

December 21, 2018, Chalkbeat
Black Stuyvesant alumni rally behind program to integrate specialized high schools, but call for some tweaks

A group of black alumni from New York City’s prestigious Stuyvesant high school is calling on local leaders to “remain committed” to an effort to integrate specialized high schools like the one they attended — even in the face of a recent lawsuit.

December 18, 2018
LAB Middle School Statement
Parents of the SLT & PA of NYC Lab Middle School Resolution Statement Regarding Proposed Changes to the Specialized High School Admissions Presented at the General Parent Association Meeting on December 18, 2018 (PDF)

December 17, 2018, Chalkbeat
We talked to longtime city politician John Liu about his priorities for the Senate’s subcommittee for NYC education

But this year, Liu said the debate over specialized high schools is an issue that he and his colleagues “have strong feelings about” and will be “directly addressed and comprehensively addressed in my subcommittee.” Liu envisions holding hearings in coordination with the full education committee, chaired by state Sen. Shelley B. Mayer, a Westchester Democrat.

For his part, Liu, a graduate of one of the specialized high schools, is against de Blasio’s proposal.

December 17, 2018, Wall Street Journal
De Blasio Sees Too Many Asians
A lawsuit accuses New York’s mayor of using racial discrimination to promote ‘diversity.’

December 16, 2018, New York Post
Parents hate de Blasio’s racist plans for the city’s top schools

December 15, 2018, Daily News
De Blasio’s attempt to reduce the number of Asian-American students in the Discovery Program is unconstitutional

December 13, 2018
Pacific Legal Foundation


Stopping New York’s attempt to discriminate against Asian-American students
Feeling that New York City’s eight specialized high schools contain too many Asian students, Mayor Bill de Blasio is changing an admissions program to limit the ability of students to get into predominately Asian-American schools. However, his so-called racial balancing effort will squeeze out Asian students—nearly three-quarters of whom come from low-income families. On behalf of Yi Fang and a number of Asian-American parents, the Asian-American Coalition for Education, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, and the Christa McAuliffe Parent Teacher Organization, the plaintiff filed a federal lawsuit challenging the mayor’s unconstitutional racial gerrymandering.

December 13, 2018, New York Post
Asian-American civil rights groups, parents sue over school diversification plan

December 13, 2018, Washington Post
NYC plan to diversify elite high schools challenged in court

December 13, 2018, Wall Street Journal
Parents Sue New York City Over Mayor’s Plan to Diversify Elite High Schools. Plaintiffs say Bill de Blasio’s education initiative disproportionately hurts Asian-American students

December 11, 2018
The Christa McAuliffe Intermediate School Parent Teacher Organization (IS 187 PTO) – Press Release

McAuliffe-Press-Release-2018-12-11 (PDF)

The PTO at Christa McAuliffe IS set a course of action. Read the press release to be informed.

December 11, 2018
MS54 Booker T. Washington School PTA Meeting and High School Information Session

The PTA at MS54 held a well-attended parent information meeting on December 11. No DOE representatives were there to present the slideshow. Speakers were: Patrick Joseph, Senior Education Analyst to Gail Brewer’s office of the Manhattan Borough President, David Lee (, and Kim Watkins, President CEC3. About 250 parents attended.

Patrick Joseph / Gail Brewer presentation (PDF)
David Lee’s CoalitionEDU presentation (PDF)
Kim Watkin’s 2017 high school data (PDF)

MS54 – Booker T Washington – PTA web page on SHSAT information and parent activity

December 11, 2018, New York Post
Parents fear that ‘diversity’ in elite high schools could backfire

December 4, 2018, Wall Street Journal
Parents at Packed Meeting Oppose Proposal to Change Admissions at City’s Elite Public High Schools. More than 300 parents packed tense meeting, some booed and heckled Education Department official

December 4, 2018, New York Post
Angry parents lash out at DOE official over diversification plan

CEC2 Meeting at The Clinton School – December 3, 2018 – Photos

This meeting was attended by about 300 parents who heard a presentation by Josh Wallack, Deputy Chancellor, Division of Strategy & Policy and took part in a comments and questions session. Links to press reports below. This was a vigorous comments session.

December 3, 2018, Chalkbeat
Manhattan parents decry proposal designed to diversify city’s most sought-after high schools

November 16, 2018
CEC16 issues letter to Chancellor Carranza

2018-11-16 Letter from CEC16 to Chancellor Carranza PDF

November 12, 2018, Wall Street Journal
Parents Mull Suit Over City Plan to Boost Diversity at Elite Schools. Mayor de Blasio plans to offer 20% of seats at specialized high schools to low-income students who just missed test-score cutoff

October 18, 2018, Wall Street Journal
Stuyvesant, Other Elite New York Public High Schools Could Admit Students Who Didn’t Pass State Tests. Mayor’s proposed changes would have given seats to hundreds of students who didn’t pass exams, data show.

September 26, 2018, New York Post
Startling number of city public school students don’t understand basic math, English

August 13, 2018, New York Times
Elite New York High Schools to Offer 1 in 5 Slots to Those Below Cutoff

June 28, 2017, New York Times
Assembly Approves 2-Year Deal on Mayoral Control of New York City Schools

June 25, 2018, Daily News Opinion
How each middle school would be affected by Mayor de Blasio’s specialized high school admissions plan

June 13, 2018, Opinion, New York Times
No Ethnic Group Owns Stuyvesant. All New Yorkers Do. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan would destroy the best high schools in New York City.

May 26, 2011,
Stuyvesant Principal explains why he stopped Discovery Program for promoting diversity