Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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Lawmakers Propose Bill Expanding Admissions Criteria to City's Elite High Schools

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TWC News: Lawmakers Propose Bill Expanding Admissions Criteria to City's Elite High Schools
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Educators and lawmakers are calling for state legislation that would change the way students are admitted to the city's specialized high schools.

The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test is currently the sole criterion for admission into one of eight elite schools in the city.

Opponents of the test say it doesn't provide a broad enough picture of student achievements, and puts minority students at a disadvantage.

A proposed bill in Albany would use a so-called power score to judge, though.

It would include a student's grade point average, state test scores and attendance record along with their score on the test.

"What a child does over their entire educational career is just as important, and as a teacher, I would make the argument that it's even more important than their performance on a single day's test exam," says United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew.

"A lot of students just prepare for this one single test and they end up getting a high score but I don't think it really reflects what they can achieve," one student says.

An Education Department Spokesman says Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña supports the changes.

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