The eight Specialized High Schools are the best high schools in New York City and among the best, if not the best, in the country. Admission to the schools are based on a single test, the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). The SHSAT is a merit based, objective test, which is academically rigorous test based on Common Core Math and English skills. The students taking the test are in complete control of whether or not they are admitted to a Specialized High School. The test and the process has no subjective criteria, no admissions officers, no subjective essays or partial credit.
The students taking the test are in complete control of whether or not they are admitted to a Specialized High School.
The SHSAT has created an environment in the Specialized High Schools that allows for a substantial amount of its population to be admitted to some of the most selective colleges in the country. Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech alone has produced 14 Nobel Prize winners. Schools like this are usually only for the privileged, but in New York City, the schools have been providing an essential opportunity for children who come from low-income circumstances and immigrant communities.
Progressives like Mayor Bill de Blasio have been attacking the Specialized High Schools over their admissions policy and the supposed lack of diversity and equity. They want to change the admission criteria for the Specialized High Schools by eliminating the SHSAT and replacing it with a portfolio of measures including "grade point average, culminated student portfolio, teacher recommendations and other factors the city board shall determine to be necessary”. All these factors are substantially subjective, especially grade point averages. Elementary and Middle schools across the board are failing to educate our students and GPA's at one school is not comparable to other schools.
The fact of the matter is the SHSAT is based on Common Core standards that are taught to all students. The DOE starts failing students in the 3rd grade and continue to fail them throughout their middle schools years.