Tuesday, October 02, 2012

NAACP lawyers condemn selection test for elite NYC High Schools

It seems to be grievance only behind the assertions below.  From Wikpedia we read:
Bronx Science has received international recognition[5] as one of the best[6] high schools in the United States, public or private, ranking in the top 100 in U.S. News and World Report's lists of America's "Gold-Medal" high schools in 2008 and 2009. It attracts an intellectually gifted blend of culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse students from New York City. As of 2012, Bronx Science is ranked as one of the "22 top-performing schools" in America on The Washington Post as well as number 50 out of a list of the best 1,000 high schools in the country on The Daily Beast's "America's Best High Schools" list.

Every year almost all Bronx Science graduates go on to four-year colleges; many attend Ivy League and other prestigious schools. Bronx Science has counted 132 finalists in the Intel (formerly Westinghouse) Science Talent Search, the largest number of any high school. Seven graduates have won Nobel Prizes – more than any other secondary education institution in the United States and the world — and six have won Pulitzer Prizes. The seven Nobel Laureates have earned Bronx Science a designation by the American Physical Society as a "Historic Physics Site" in 2010.

Clearly, the selection test is BRILLIANT at picking out high-ability kids.  It is therefore hard to see the comments below as anything but hate-motivated.  The comments are certainly not fact-motivated

Picture this: You’ve worked hard all of your life. You have the grades and academic awards to prove it. You are recognized as one of the best students in your peer group. And you have the chance to apply for an educational opportunity that could change your life. But getting this opportunity requires that you take a test. No other factors matter.

Yet it turns out that this test has never been shown to actually measure whether you are qualified for that big opportunity, and it certainly doesn’t take into account all the work you have done.

In fact, it seems that the test does not predict anything — aside, that is, from who can do well on the test. Now imagine that you miss out on that opportunity despite all your hard work only because you did not get a high enough score.

That’s the sad reality for too many New York City middle school students who take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test each year in hopes of securing a coveted slot in elite high schools such as Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech.

And, to make matters worse, under the current policy, a student’s score on the SHSAT is the only factor that determines whether he or she will be admitted to one of the city’s eight specialized high schools (there’s one more, the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, that does not require an exam).

You could cure Alzheimer’s, and it wouldn’t increase your chances of getting into Stuyvesant.

Educational experts agree that there is a limit to what any single factor can predict about a person’s academic promise; this is especially true for a test that has not been shown to predict success at the schools for which it is being used as an entrance exam.

The nation’s selective colleges have recognized this. No Ivy League school would ever base admissions solely on the SAT. In fact, some college admissions offices have eschewed standardized test scores altogether, recognizing how little they matter and how little they tell.

And plenty of selective high schools in New York — including the two Bard Early College high schools in Manhattan and Queens — use some combination of grades, test scores and other factors to assess whether applicants should be given admission. And these schools do a better job of enrolling classes that are academically strong and broadly diverse.

Still, the DOE has maintained the test-only admissions policy for the specialized high schools for decades.

That policy has a disproportionate impact on African-American and Latino youth. Only 5% of the 6,382 African-American students who took the fall 2011 SHSAT were offered admission to a specialized high school for the 2011-12 school year. Of the 6,143 Latino students who took the test, only 6.7% were offered admission. Last year, out of the 976 students admitted to Stuyvesant, only 19 were African-American and 32 were Latino.


British school bans parents watching sports day without criminal record check

A school has banned parents from watching their children take part in sports events - unless they pass a criminal records check.

The Isambard Community School in Swindon, Wilts., insists all parents must clear a Criminal Records Bureau check to weed out potential paedophiles.

Neil Park, 54, was furious when he was turned away from watching his son George, 12, play rugby.

The father-of-five said: "I was turned away from the school because I had not been CRB checked.

"I couldn't believe it. Government guidelines state that parents are allowed to watch games.

"But any strangers can be questioned and requested to show the appropriate paperwork, which is fair enough.

"George was really upset by it all. What are they going to stop you going to next? Parents' evening? The school play?

"Or what if England under 16s are playing at the County Ground , will they ask all fans there to be CRB checked?"

The school introduced the new measure at the start of the term to prevent strangers from accessing other parts of the school from the playing fields.

A spokesman said: "It is with regret that from now on we will be unable to accommodate parents wishing to spectate at our sports fixtures unless they are in possession of an up-to-date Swindon Council CRB check.

"At Isambard we take safeguarding very seriously and because of this we are unable to leave gates open for access to sporting venues at anytime during the school day.

"The current access arrangements are frustrating for both Isambard staff and parents and have recently resulted in reception staff and PE staff being on the receiving end of verbal abuse from parents who have become frustrated trying to get into or out of the school."

Other schools in the area have no plans to implement this new policy however.

Clive Zimmerman, head at Lydiard Park Academy, Swindon, said: "We don't have that policy here because there are always staff supervising the children.

"We think it is important that parents can support their children.

"We had our inaugural hockey game at the Link Centre this week, and half of that stadium was filled with parents which is fantastic."


Australia:  Police to be based at Queensland high schools to steer teens from crime

This is a disgrace.  There was none of this in Australia when schools had effective disciplinary powers

POLICE will be stationed in a third of Queensland's state high schools to steer out-of-control children away from a lifetime of crime.

Fifteen schools that together had more than 4400 suspensions and almost 100 expulsions in one year have been hand-picked to have a police officer based within school grounds from next year as part of an LNP election promise.

The plan to rid schools of crime and violence will increase police numbers in schools to 50, with officers working across 56 of the 180 state high schools in the state.

"Violence has been out of control and criminals are getting younger and younger, and boosting school-based police numbers provides a vital bridge for potential young offenders to ensure we permanently steer them away from a lifetime of crime," Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers told The Sunday Mail.

"It's all about early intervention."

Schools to get police include Brisbane, Nambour, Glenmore, Pioneer, Gladstone, Bowen, Sandgate, Southport, Toowoomba Locker District and Trinity Bay state high schools and Upper Coomera, Flagstone, Brisbane Bayside and Bentley Park state colleges.

Education Queensland figures show Bentley Park State College in Cairns, a school of more than 1600 students, had 19 expulsions, 377 short suspensions (1-5 days) and 93 long suspensions (6-20 days) in 2010-11.

This was compared with Brisbane State High School, with more than 2100 students, which had fewer than five expulsions, 40 short suspensions and 29 long suspensions.

"The School Based Policing Program is an effective crime prevention strategy that aims to keep students in school," Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said.

"School-based police officers promote positive relationships between young people and police, and play an important role in addressing the issue of violence in schools."


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