Families, officials host meeting to voice support for SHSAT

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BENSONHURST -

Elected officials and community members hosted a meeting at the United Progressive Democratic Club Saturday as part of an effort to make sure the specialized high schools admissions test is not eliminated, as has been proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and other local leaders.

Community leaders and families gathered at the meeting in Bensonhurst with the hope of gaining more support for the controversial SHSAT.

With speakers and by gathering signatures, Assemblyman William Colton says the purpose of this meeting is to mobilize the community to defeat the mayor's proposed plan to eliminate the exam.

The mayor's proposal came last year in an effort to increase diversity, especially for black and Latino youth.

But Assemblyman Colton says doing that would deny specialized high school seats to children whose work and achievements have earned them their admission. He adds that there are other ways to increase diversity at the city's specialized high schools.

It's why parents, teachers, and other community members have come out to show their support and spread the word on the importance of improving the quality of education for gifted children in New York City schools.

Ultimately it's a decision that will come down to state legislators. However, the assemblyman says he doesn't even think it will come to a vote.

In response, a spokesperson for Mayor de Blasio told News 12, "We need to end the outdated practice of letting a single test on a single day dictate a kid's future. There's no other system like it in the country. It's antiquated, disproven and working as a barrier to academic opportunity for too many, and Mayor de Blasio won't give up the fight until we have a more equitable system."

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