The panel discussion will include prominent speakers who oppose or who support changes to the existing admission policy. We have confirmed that speakers in favor of keeping the existing SHSAT exam-only format will include Assembly Candidate for Flushing Phil Gim, who is running against Assemblyman Ron Kim, as well as former city council candidate for Whitestone Queens Dennis Saffran, and former Bronx councilman Michael Benjamin.
Rounding out the panel will be the Presidents of the Northeast Queens and Jamaica chapters of the NAACP, Ken Cohen Jr. and Leroy Gadsen. The UFT has also expressed interest in sending a representative to join the panel. Ron Kim was invited but declined to participate.
This will be the first forum discussion to include members of the NAACP since the NAACP LDF, an independent legal rights organization, filed a complaint to the Office of Civil Rights of the US Department of Education claiming the SHSAT prevents African Americans and Latino Americans from enrolling in these schools. Supporters of the SHSAT feel that poor public education at inner city schools is the true reason that there is not a greater representation of these minorities.
The panel will be moderated by journalist Laura Shepard from The Queens Chronicle to ensure an unbiased and objective discussion.
Following the discussion will be a question and answer session open to the public.
Date: October 18, 2014
Location: Taiwan Center Auditorium 137-44 Northern Blvd, Flushing NY 11354
CoalitionEdu is an advocacy group that supports preserving the finest traditions of the specialized high schools of NYC. We support keeping the Specialized High School Achievement Test as the admission standard to these schools. We represent alumni, parents, students and community leaders who have come together to support this cause.
Our website is www.CoalitionEdu.org