By Cindy Grosz
Assemblyman Charles Barron, a former Black Panther and recognized by many as one of New York's most visible anti-Semites, sponsored Bill #A10427 in the State Assembly that would eliminate the SHSAT and instead use subjective factors which would destroy the tradition of high scholastic achievement in our city's Specialized High Schools. This bill goes before the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday, June 6th.
The bill relates to admission to a special high school in the city of New York. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/
Should This Be An Issue to Debate?
We need to ask, is this action meant to do what is best for a child? We support any student of any religion, race or gender who meets the standards. Then again, aren't they already attending these schools?
Why is this bill being voted on in such a rush?
Could this bill be a follow up to last month's racist tweets by School's Chancellor, Richard Carranza? Is it setting up students, who would not normally attend these schools, up for failure? How will it affect the rest of the students, teachers and surrounding communities? How much will it cost taxpayers?
N. Nick Perry
Jo Anne Simon
Victor M. Pichardo
J. Gary Pretlow
Carmen De La Rosa
Inez E. Dickens
Michaelle C. Solages
Carmen E. Arroyo
Walter T. Mosley
The Sponsor is of course, Charles Barron.
According to the Anti Defamation League's biography of Charles Barron, he is a New York City Councilman and local activist, has associated with anti-Semitic hate groups and promoted extreme anti-Israel positions intended to demonize the Jewish state since his election in 2001.
Those Elected Officials Who Oppose It
"This latest nonsensical move by Mayor de Blasio is a classic example of, if it isn’t broke, let’s take a page from the left-wing playbook to try and “fix” it. Instead of focusing on real problems like fixing the MTA and combating the opioid crisis, the Mayor is more interested in being a progressive hero by villainizing a merit-based system that has set generations of gifted and talented students, many of them minority and low-income, on the path for lifelong success. Staten Island Technical High School in my district consistently ranks as one of the highest-performing schools in the nation, and I am proud to represent many of its current students and families. But if the Mayor’s absurd plan moves forward it will send the message that political correctness is more important than hard work, aptitude and the actual education a student receives in the classroom.”
Assemblyman Edward Ra (Education Committee)
“This bill should be the subject of public hearings and discussion before anything moves forward. The Mayor is once again asking Albany to act merely because he wants something rather than having a discussion as to what is best for New York City’s children. I will be voting against this legislation and I hope my colleagues on the Education Committee will join me and reject this bill.”
Assemblywoman Melissa "Missy" Miller
“I am disturbed that this bill will not be brought up for discussion or have a public hearing before we vote on it. The Special High School Admission Test is a fair assessment tool to help determine if a student is qualified for the amount of work and level of curriculum offered at any one of these schools. This is to help ensure that students will succeed in the school environment. I will be voting against this legislation and hope my fellow members of the Assembly will join me in doing so.”
Tom Long, Chairman, Queens County Conservative Party
"To do away with admissions exams to specialized schools is a disservice to those students who have studied and worked hard and to their families who have taught them to strive to be the best that they can be. To reward mediocrity is just another bad progressive idea from our Mayor."
Education is a nonpartisan issue that needs bipartisan support.
Cindy Grosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.