This past Sunday Khan’s Tutorial met with NYC community leaders and members at Queens Library in Flushing to discuss the proposed changes to the Specialized High School Admissions Process to combat the lack of diversity. Panelists and community members alike expressed their support for the existing arrangement, saying that the test-only policy is unbiased and rewards students purely based on hard work and dedication. Additionally, several people pointed out that adding more admissions criteria such (i.e. interviews, extracurricular activities) as proposed would make the process similar to applying to college. Community members expressed that this would be too complex for families given the age of the applicants and even more complex for immigrant families who don’t speak English. A complicated application process with more requirements would essentially hurt disadvantaged students.
“For many families entrance to the Specialized High Schools has been the only way of getting their families out of poverty and the issues faced by immigrants in our beloved city,” said Dr. Ivan Khan “The sad reality is that New York city’s school system is failing in many local communities.”
In addition to Dr. Ivan Khan and the panel, several KT Instructors as well as a KT student spoke regarding their experiences at the elite schools, and how the test gave them the ability overcome a multitude of barriers that would have otherwise prevented them from receiving an excellent education.
Santiago Munoz a Bronx Science student who currently attends KT on a full scholarship said, “I’m Hispanic and I know the city’s trying to bring more minorities into the schools and I’m totally with that,” Munoz said. “However, I don’t think taking away the SHSAT is the correct thing.”
With 9 locations in the outer boroughs of New York City, including Brooklyn, the Bronx, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, Astoria, Ozone Park, and Floral Park, Khan’s Tutorial primarily serves in assisting families in low-income neighborhoods. A total of 1,625 students have gained admission to New York City’s Specialized High Schools through Khan’s Tutorial since its inception in 1994.