Monday, April 3, 2017


Up to 70,000 High School Juniors Able to Take Free SAT During the School Day

   Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña today visited Queens Vocational and Technical High School to rally juniors participating in the first-ever citywide SAT School Day this Wednesday, April 5. All high school juniors will be able to take the SAT during the school day free of charge this school year. 

The SAT School Day is part of College Access for All, a key initiative in Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. The Equity and Excellence for All agenda aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready.

Building on record-high graduation rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old, Equity and Excellence for All is creating a path from pre-K to college and careers for every child in every neighborhood in New York City.

“By making the SAT available as part of the course of the normal school day, we are eliminating barriers that too often stand in the way of opportunity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is making a very real difference for our high school students who should never be held back because of the cost of the SAT or because they can’t make it to the exam on a Saturday.”  

“As the first person in my family to attend college, I understand how important SAT School Day can be – this is a game-changer,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “I wish all our juniors good luck on Wednesday. This is just one part of our commitment to providing all our students – from pre-K through 12 – with the instruction and support they need to succeed in college and careers.”

The citywide SAT School Day removes a number of barriers to SAT participation for students: individually registering for the test; requesting a fee waiver; traveling to an unfamiliar location; and having to take the test on a Saturday, when students and families may have other obligations. Incorporating the SAT as a school activity also promotes a strong college and career culture – students envisioning and thinking about college and career planning throughout their high school career. Research has demonstrated the importance of strong college and career culture, and it is critical to the success of the College Access for All initiative and Equity and Excellence goals. Research has also demonstrated that SAT School Day broadens opportunities for all students and particularly for Hispanic and African-American students.

To facilitate the first-ever citywide SAT School Day, the City piloted free SAT administration for juniors during the day at 40 high schools in Spring 2015 and at 91 high schools in Spring 2016. This has driven an 8.2 percentage point increase in juniors taking the SAT over the past two years – including 12.1 percentage points among black students and 10.2 percentage points among Hispanic students. For the first time over 50 percent of an NYC high school junior class – the Class of 2017 – has taken the SAT.

The pilot also supported the creation of an SAT School Day Toolkit, which was provided to schools with guidance on test preparation and planning leading up to testing day, test administration, and activities for non-testing grades. Through the PSAT School Day, all sophomores are also able to take the PSAT during the school day free of charge. The PSAT School Day began in 2007 and has is now part of the SAT School Day at many schools; approximately 55,000 sophomores will be able to take the PSAT free of charge on Wednesday. Approximately 15,000 sophomores already took the PSAT this fall.

While the PSAT School Day has led to a nearly threefold increase in the number of students taking that exam, not all students have taken advantage of the PSAT School Day. Some eligible juniors and sophomores may not take the SAT or PSAT on Wednesday.

Through College Access for All, by 2018-19, every middle school student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus and every high school student will graduate with an individual college and career plan. The initiative has also eliminated the CUNY college application fee for low-income students. College Access for All is also supporting new training and funding for 100 high schools to build a schoolwide college and career culture. Queens Vocational and Technical High School is among these schools; the juniors that Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña met today just returned from an overnight trip to four colleges in Pennsylvania and Delaware funded through College Access for All.

From Pre-K for All to College Access for All, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality pre-K for every four-year-old through Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools.


This sentence taken from the second paragraph is all that is needed to know.

"The Equity and Excellence for All agenda aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready".

It will take ten years to get to the above goal, but the mayor and chancellor do not say what the current on time graduation rate is, or exactly how many of those graduating are currently college ready.

That is what our elected officials need to know!

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