NYC DOE Fails to Improve Specialized High School Results

Parent Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum and Education (PLACE NYC) celebrates all of the students who took the DOE’s Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). We applaud the determination and effort of the 27,800 students who studied for and completed a non-compulsory examination to earn a seat at one of NYC’s renowned Specialized High Schools. Unfortunately, many academically qualified students who desire a rigorous, advanced STEM-based education did not get a spot because of a shortage of seats. There should be more Specialized High Schools to prepare all students for the careers of today and tomorrow.

The 2020 SHSAT results prove, once again, that the failure to deliver high-quality, rigorous curricula in all our public elementary and middle schools hurts our Black and Hispanic students the most. Only 10 Black students scored above the cutoff for Stuyvesant, and Black and Hispanic students will represent just 11% of the next Specialized High School freshman class.

The DOE’s SHSAT asks fundamental ELA and Math questions. It is an utter failure of the DOE that so few Black and Hispanic students scored above the cutoffs. We have a clear moral imperative to increase the academic rigor of all our elementary and middle schools. We must restore and expand the G&T programs and honors classes that previously existed in NYC schools and led to thousands of Black and Hispanic students attending the Specialized High Schools annually for 20 straight years.

PLACE urges the NYC DOE to focus on improving curricula in all our K-8 schools as well as in the other 400 high schools. Only then will all NYC students have the same opportunities at academic achievement and future success.