When I was President of the PTA at Booker T. Washington MS 54, the school was racially segregated and I tried to change this. I also tried to stop the misallocation of funds by the Principal. I was attacked, of course, by a group of the white parents, all of whom wanted their children to continue to receive the favors and treats of being white. Ironically, one of the parents who attacked me is the current Parent Coordinator of JHS 54, Anne Pejovich. I have a mountain of information on her duplicity to share in my book in the sad chapter of parents fighting parents who speak up.
The DELTA Honors program fed students directly into Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Edward Murrow, Brooklyn TECH. The four other programs inside Booker T. did not permit students to take the SSHAT test. This was the problem. Let all kids who want to take the test TAKE IT. The unfairness in telling a child he/she cannot take the test simply because they are not "ready" or just "can't" is unfair and unjust. I and several other parents did a random survey of the schools in the upper west side of Manhattan by standing outside the schools after Parent visiting day, and we asked 2 questions: 1) is your child in 8th grade? 2) is your child taking the SSHAT test? The answers were surprisingly, no, they knew nothing about applying for the test or when it would be given.
DELTA was more than 90% white. The other programs at MS 54 reflected the neighborhood, mostly black or Hispanic. I live on the Upper East side, but my kids were accepted at DELTA because the former head of the program, Fred La Senna, accepted them, starting with my oldest, who had an IEP. She, and one of her sisters, wanted to go to Stuyvesant, took the test, and got in. No other school would have challenged either daughter, and Stuyvesant was the right learning environment for their learning style.
Change the way students apply to take the test, and we may begin to see more diversity in the Stuyvesant pool of incoming students. Don't change the test.
|Stuyvesant High School|