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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Stress tested

Tested a documentary about New York City eighth graders trying to qualify for elite public schools, will come out on DVD next month.

Doing well on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) opens the door to a specialized school, writes Jake Miller, a Pennsylvania history teacher, in his review. For some, it’s “a ticket out of poverty.”

 Approximately 23% of the students accepted speak Chinese at home. Though the African American and Latino are more than 50% of the school system’s demographic, they are less than 5% of those selected to the specialized schools.

The SHSAT will be modified in hopes of being fairer for students who can’t afford tutoring. Students won’t be asked to put five sentences in order to create a logical paragraph. It’s not a skill taught in school, writes Larry Cary in the New York Daily News.

The new exam will test editing skills, put more stress on reading comprehension, include math questions that aren’t multiple choice, he writes. Students will have 30 minutes more time, but more questions to answer.

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