New York, New York — The Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York (CACAGNY) recently surveyed Chinese American Candidates running for office in the New York City September 12th Primary, asking whether they presently support keeping the single merit based exam to the Specialized Highs Schools of New York City. Currently, the SHSAT is the only way to gain admission into the Specialized High Schools such as Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech. These are the country’s best public high schools and predominantly Asian, however, they have come under attack for not being more diverse. Several elected officials claim the exam should be eliminated because it is unfair and preventing diversity at these schools.
Every year legislation is proposed to eliminate the single exam for alternate methods with the goal of changing the diversity of the student class. This year the Borough Presidents of the Bronx and Brooklyn published a report calling for changing the single exam admission system. Legislators, especially Asian legislators, depending on their opinion, can be very influential in retaining or changing the way students gain acceptance to these schools.
“As a community, South Asians, particularly low-income new-immigrant South Asians, support the preservation of the current merit based SHSAT admissions criterion. Changes to the exam or deviation from a single test system would potentially compromise the 20 years of progress that Bangladeshi students have made at these top schools. Changing the admissions criteria will not help diversify the student bodies at these schools, and would in fact hurt underrepresented and new-immigrant families. I urge voters in our community to come out on Tuesday, September 12 to vote for candidates in favor of preserving the SHSAT,” said Dr. Ivan Khan.
City Council- District 20 – Flushing Queens
Peter Koo – Presently supports keeping the SHSAT and has a record of supporting the SHSAT. Councilman Koo spoke in favor of the SHSAT at an all-day Council Hearing in 2014 and confirmed his position in a statement to the press on August 17, 2017. He has stated that he intends to continue to vote for keeping the SHSAT if legislation or a resolution were to come up in the City Council. CACAGNY believes he is credible.
City Council-District 43 – Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn
Nancy Tong- Supports keeping the SHSAT and has a record of supporting the exam. Testified in a City Hall Hearing in support of maintaining the SHSAT and intends to continue to vote for keeping the SHSAT. Opponents (for Primary)
Justin Brannan- supports the SHSAT, claims to have stated so in the past and would support it in the future.
City Council-District 38 – Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Chris Miao- Supports keeping the SHSAT, is an alumnus of Bronx HS a Specialized High School and intends to vote for keeping the SHSAT.
City Council- District 1 – Chinatown, Lower Manhattan
Margaret Chin – Supports the current admission system. Will vote for changing the system only if it does not disadvantage Asian American students. She has stated so in the past. She is a supporter of Stuyvesant High School which is in her district and has funded projects there and appeared at annual dinners.
Bryan Jung (Republican) Supports the SHSAT. Intends to vote to support the SHSAT. Believes in a merit based system and that a color blind system is the fairest way to admit students. Believes lower school leadership is required to encourage more students from throughout the city to qualify for these schools.
With 10 locations in the outer boroughs of New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and in the Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Astoria, Ozone Park, and Floral Park neighborhoods of Queens, Khan’s Tutorial primarily serves in assisting families in low-income, new immigrant neighborhoods. Over 2,614 students have gained admission to New York City’s Specialized High Schools through Khan’s Tutorial since its inception in 1994.