New York City High School placements for September 2016 came out this past Friday, leading to the Annual Day of Hand-Wringing. As always, the topic was the low number of Black and Hispanic students accepted to NYC’s specialized high-schools, most notably the jewel in the crown, Stuyvesant HS.
The mayor is once again shocked, horrified and calling for change, some change, any change, change, change, change! What he is not calling for is for more NYC parents to be let in on the dirty, little secret of NYC public high-school admissions.
That secret is simple: In order to get into a specialized high-school, NYC students must score well on a test known as the Specialized High-School Admissions Test (SHSAT). The SHSAT is given in October of a student’s 8th grade year. The SHSAT has algebra on it. Algebra is not introduced in most public high-schools until Spring of the 8th grade year.
This means that no matter how smart your child is, no matter how hard-working your child is, no matter how good your child’s grades are, and no matter how well they’ve done on state tests up to this point, it is highly unlikely that they will figure out algebra the first time they’re exposed to it – on a high-stakes test.
NYC parents have three options:
· They can get their child prepped privately by a tutor or at a testing center
· They can send their child to private school, many of which introduce algebra in the 6th grade
· They can try to get their child into a Citywide (not District) public gifted program. Citywide public gifted programs do the same standard curriculum as the rest of the school system, only they do it a year ahead. Which means the children in those schools are introduced to algebra in the 7th grade. Just in time for the SHSAT.
That’s right, your child’s Kindergarten could very well affect where they go to high-school. Unfortunately, every year several thousand children qualify for what amounts to around 300 available spaces in NYC’s five gifted citywide schools. Your child could not miss a single question on the G&T test, and still not get placed into a citywide gifted school via lottery.
How can you maximize your child’s odds of admission? Listen to this podcast.
For more on what you should be doing to prepare your child for competitive school admissions, listen here.
And make sure to attend this FREE “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten” workshop on Tuesday, March 15 at 6 pm for even more inside information. Register via Nory.co, here.
To get the entire inside scoop on applying to NYC high-schools from a kid who has been there and done that, click here.