2019 Changes to SHSAT expected to increase cutoff scores

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced plans to change the SHSAT Discovery program, an initiative that offers additional summer classes to middle school students from low-income families who just barely miss the cutoff scores and wish to get another crack at gaining admission to an elite high school.

Under a two-year effort that would begin in September, the Discovery program will be expanded to ensure that 20 percent of the seats at each specialized high school would be held for Discovery students. However, such a change would decrease the number of regular seats, making the elite schools even more selective, with higher cut-off scores.

The mayor would not need the state Legislature’s permission to change Discovery. However, there is a federal lawsuit pending to stop the change.

This effort comes after Mayor de Blasio’s prosed phase-out of the SHSAT. However, eliminating the exam would require state legislation which is unlikely to pass in the current political climate.

Under that plan, the SHSAT would be phased out over a period of three years in favor of a system under which the top students in each of the city’s middle schools would be allowed to enroll in specialized high schools.

UPDATE: As predicted, the 2020 cut-off scores did indeed increase:

2020 (low score / high score, 9th-grade low score in parenthesis)
Stuyvesant 566 / 640 [564 did not get offer]
Bronx Science 532 / 591 [520 did not get offer]
Brooklyn Latin 498 / 516
Brooklyn Technical 507 / 652 (9th – 529)
HSMSE @ CCNY 523 / 566 (9th – 522)
HSAS @ Lehman 520 / 562 (9th – 497)
Queens Science @ York College 535 / 535
Staten Island Tech 551 / 568 [520 did not get offer]

2019 (low score / high score)
Stuyvesant 557/ 665 (556 did not get offer)
Bronx Science 525 / 696
Brooklyn Latin 488 / 505
Brooklyn Technical 498 / 631 (496 did not get offer)
HSMSE @ CCNY 519 / 620 (515 did not get offer)
HSAS @ Lehman 524/ 617
Queens Science @ York College 514/ 524
Staten Island Tech 527/ 688 (525 did not get offer)