Queens, NY – April 12, 2019 – Yesterday community members, organizers, and elected officials gathered at Queens Borough Hall for the first of several SHSAT hearings. The public had the opportunity to discuss their views on education access and the admissions criteria for the Specialized High Schools. Khan’s Tutorial has been a strong supporter of equity in K-8 education, the expansion of Gifted and Talented programs and honors/accelerated tracks in all school districts, as well as increased school funding.
“Rather than consider the Mayor’s proposal as the only solution to the diversity problem, leaders in the Senate and Assembly have the power to bring back accelerated programs we’ve phased out, like IGC (Intellectually Gifted Children), SP (Special Progress), and Honors programs. Everyone deserves the same opportunity I had, it’s about time we expand the Specialized High Schools and create more pathways to high achieving schools, while integrating from a much earlier age,” said Tahseen Chowdhury, Former Stuyvesant High School Student Union President.
“As an educator, my Dad realized the disparities in school funding from one school to another. I remember being placed in IGC (Intellectually Gifted Children) & SP (Special Progress) classes as a child, and our incredibly diverse classrooms of black and brown children would work hard to stay in that group until the final report card in June,” said Dr. Ivan Khan, CEO & President of Khan’s Tutorial.
New York State Senator John Liu who is also Chairman of New York City Education Committee organized the event to engage the community and ensure that all stakeholders had a chance to provide their input. Senator Liu has argued that Mayor de Blasio’s plan to scrap the SHSAT is racist in that the mayor did not consult with the Asian community and failed to consider their needs before rolling out the proposal.
“This is necessary because last year [City Hall] proposed a plan without including many parts of the city,” Senator Liu said. “This has turned into a racial issue because of the way City Hall has framed the issue to begin with.”
With 11 locations in the outer boroughs of New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and in the Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Astoria, Sunnyside, Ozone Park, and Floral Park neighborhoods of Queens, Khan’s Tutorial primarily serves in assisting families in low-income, new immigrant neighborhoods. Over 3,362 students have gained admission to New York City’s Specialized High Schools through Khan’s Tutorial since its inception in 1994.