The embattled entrance exam for the city's elite public high schools has survived another year. But the well-heeled advocacy group that's been fighting to keep it says its work isn't done.
"It is not just about preserving tests. It's about making sure that all of the children of the city have the opportunity to come to these great high schools," said Richard Parsons of the Education Equity.
Former Time Warner chief Richard Parsons, and cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder started Education Equity last spring with more than a million dollars.
At the time, Mayor de Blasio was pressing Albany to change the law that makes the test the sole basis to determine who attends Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and the other elite high schools.
The Mayor blames the test for a lack of black and Hispanic students at the schools.
But after his lobbying blitz failed, de Blasio says he's open to other ways of creating diversity.
Parsons and Lauder say they want the same thing - and that their support of the test was misconstrued.
"It was interpreted as being somewhat almost racist, like people didn't care about those who didn't make the grade, well that's exactly the opposite of what we're trying to do,” Parsons said.
The group says it will pressure the city to expand gifted and talented programs in middle and grade schools, double the number of specialized high schools, and offer free test prep for all students who want it. Meanwhile, they're funding test prep for 210 students.
"Even though we have certain hours, they've asked for extra hours to learn. These are 200 of some of the smartest people that I've ever seen," said Ronald Lauder of the Education Equity.
Stuyvesant students we spoke to back universal test prep.
Mirien Hernendez doubts she would be at the school without the city's free test prep program which has limited space.
"No. My school personally didn't give a lot of I guess preparation for the SHSAT," said Hernendez, a freshman at Stuyvesant High School.
Michelle Zhang began test prep in the fifth grade costing her family thousands of dollars.
"I think everyone across New York should have access to SHSAT prep because there are people in neighborhoods where they don't have the money to be sent to tutoring," said Michelle Zhang, another freshman at Stuyvesant.
There's not much time left to prepare for this year's exam, which will be administered on the last weekend of October.