Don’t mess with the test for the city’s top high schools — fix the real problem


Forty-five years ago, the Legislature passed the Hecht-Calandra bill requiring admission to Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant and Bronx Science be based solely on an applicant’s ranked score on a highly competitive academic exam called the Specialized High School Admissions Test. Today, five additional schools use the test and all eight of these exceptional, high-performing public schools rank among the top 11 high schools in New York state according to US News’ 2018 rankings.

But the specialized high schools have drawn criticism because African-American and Latino students comprise just 10 percent of their student bodies versus 67 percent in the overall school system. The largest cohort are Asian-American, who are from the kind of poor, working-class and immigrant families that have long…

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