New York City School Chancellor Richard Carranza trekked to Albany Wednesday in an end-of-session push for a state law to eliminate the single entrance exam for admission into the city’s specialized high schools.
The Democrats who run the state Assembly held a behind-closed-doors caucus meeting last night to discuss the legislation,, which would scrap using the results on a single entrance exam to determine admission to Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech high schools.
As an alternative, the top seven percent of student performers at all the city’s middle schools would gain entry to specialized high schools.
The mayor and chancellor are pushing for the change to diversify the elite public schools because so few black and Latino students are admitted under the current admissions policy.
Nearly of the Assembly members who spoke up at the caucus meeting were in favor of scrapping the single-test admissions policy, sources told The Post.
Discussion also centered on whether the mayor and chancellor would agree to dramatically increase the number of gifted and talented programs elementary and middle schools — to better prepare students for admissions to the top high schools — as part of a compromise, an insider said.
But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told The Post he’s not interested in horse trading.
“We talked globally about the city schools,” he said when asked of Carranza’s visit. “I think we need to look at the system in totality, so I didn’t agree to any trades.”
He said Carranza had plans to meet with state senators to try and convince them to support the bill that would eliminate the test.
Multiple sources told The Post there is no appetite for the proposal right now in the state Senate.
Carranza has repeatedly voiced opposition to the test, claiming it’s racist.
“A single test doesn’t capture the full talent of students, and our plan to eliminate the SHSAT [Specialized High School Admissions Test} will expand opportunity for the highest-performing students in middle schools across the city. The Chancellor is meeting with legislators today to discuss our plan,” said Department of Education spokesman Will Mantell.
The legislative session ends on June 19.