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High Stakes, but Low Validity? A Case Study of Standardized Tests and Admissions into New York City Specialized High Schools

This is a study of the admissions process at a select group of New York City public high schools. It offers the first detailed look at the admissions practices of this highly regarded and competitive group of schools, and also provides a window into the broader national debate about the use of standardized tests in school admissions. According to New York State law, admission to these schools must be based solely on an exam. The exam used is called the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). This study makes use of the individual test results from 2005 and 2006.