2018-08-15 / Features

Rally To Save Specialized High School Exam


Standing on the steps of City Hall, NYS Senator Tony Avella, Assembly Member William Colton, Council Member Bob Holden and community groups announced new state legislation and a City Council resolution to save the Specialized High School Exam. Standing on the steps of City Hall, NYS Senator Tony Avella, Assembly Member William Colton, Council Member Bob Holden and community groups announced new state legislation and a City Council resolution to save the Specialized High School Exam. Standing on the steps of City Hall, NYS Senator Tony Avella, Assembly Member William Colton, Council Member Bob Holden and community groups announced on July 31 new state legislation and a City Council resolution to save the Specialized High School Exam. The legislation would require that every elementary and junior high school have at least one class per grade for top performing students based on academic merit.

“We must expand our city’s successful gifted and talented programs to be available in every school to give students the opportunity to achieve academic excellence. We must not pit one group of people against another, but rather expand educational opportunities for all. That’s why I am proud to have introduced this bill, S.9141, in Albany requiring an expansion of the city’s gifted and talented program for all students, and I will oppose any changes to the Specialized High School Admissions Test,” said Senator Avella.

Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) said, “A real cause of the serious lack of diversity in NYC schools is the failure of the DOE to offer gifted and talented classes in lower grades and middle schools in underserved school districts to challenge and enrich their brightest students. The DOE continues to cut back and deny the brightest students in underserved districts access to such programs. Students who study hard in gifted and talented programs and so well on the SHSAT should not be penalized for the failure of the DOE to provide such programs to other districts.”

Councilman Robert Holden said, “As an educator turned policymaker, I have seen over the last two decades the negative net effect that the decreasing of Gifted & Talented programs have contributed on our children citywide—especially in our disenfranchised communities. As policymakers, it is incumbent on us to assist in the development of our children’s full potential, not hinder it. My resolution in the City Council—Resolution 417, which calls upon the New York City Department of Education to create more district Gifted and Talented programs, and expand access to advanced classes to our children—and Senator Avella’s related bill in the State Senate intend to give our children the opportunity to excel. If we truly care about a progressive education for our children, then lawmakers need to pass these bills now!”

“CoalitionEDU supports the bill introduced by State Senator Tony Avella that calls for the return of an advanced-honors class in every grade in every school in New York City and a Gifted and Talented program in every school district in New York City. In the past these programs developed students with the potential to become high performers and pursue greater opportunities. It is clearly evident that the absence of these programs over the last 20 years has led to an educational crisis in New York City particularly among Blacks and Hispanics where these programs barely exist in their communities,” said David Lee, Founder of CoalitionEdu.

Wai Wah Chin, President of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York said, "This bill introduced by Senator Tony Avella creates an important way of nurturing and growing high academic achievement in every part of the city. It serves communities of every background. It's a great thing for our students, family, and city."

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.