534 petitions

Started 3 days ago

Petition to Principles, Department of Education

Allow Cell Phones in School

I want to solve the ongoing issues of how cell phones are not allowed in our school. According to several studies, cell phones are like a security blanket for high schoolers. For example, have you ever heard an adult say "I feel lost without my cell phone?" This is a common saying that goes for us teenagers too. Our generation is geared towards technology and we should embrace it rather than turning it away. The video above states several examples of how students use their cell phones in educational ways. It overall helps us as students become more responsible. It also helps prepare us for the workforce because they use cell phones during work and still manage to get the job done. “We need to have a health waiver for kids if they are not allowing phones in schools. Cell phones are life savers for some kids with serious health problems. I believe the teacher should set out guide lines of cell phone useage as they are in charge. Cell phones to be used in the classroom is understandable in some situations.  I know when I was in highschool wish I had a cell phone when a gang of kids surrounded me to do the unthinkable, I managed to break free, I got lucky. I see cell phones as a good thing for kids to have in a world bent on harming kids and gives them at least some form of a way to reach out when in trouble.” I couldn’t find the original source of this quote. I understand that it could be a distraction to some kids, but that doesn't mean the whole student body should be punished for those select few. There's so much opportunity for students with cell phones that we don't capitalize on here at our school. Let's change the way we view cell phones and gear up for the future of education. 

Nicholas Horkey
60 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Carl Heastie, Catherine Nolan, Carmen Arroyo, Jacob C. Ashby, Michael Benedetto, Anthony Brindisi, Steven Englebright, Earlene Hooper, Alicia Hyndman, Ellen Jaffee, Ron Kim, Peter A. Lawrence, Barbara Lifton, William Magnarelli, David McDonough, John Mikulin, Melissa L. Miller, Michael Miller, Walter Mosley, Dean Murray, Daniel O'Donnell, Steven Otis, Amy Paulin, Christine Pellegrino, Edward P. Ra, Phil Ramos, Linda Rosenthal, Sean Ryan, Rebecca A. Seawright, Michele Titus, Mary Beth Walsh, Michael Blake, Maritza Davila, Michael Montesano, N. Nick Perry, Jo Anne Simon, Phil Steck, Victor Pichardo, Vivian Cook, William Colton, Al Taylor, Jose Rivera, J Gary Pretlow, Carmen De La Rosa, Inez E. Dickens, Clyde Vanel, Rodneyse Bichotte, Latoya Joyner, Michaelle Solages, Carrie Woerner, Fred Thiele Jr., Joe Errigo, Aridia Espinal, David Weprin, Peter Abbate Jr., Jeffrey Dinowitz

Keep SHSAT as the sole specialized high school admissions criterion

Background: The mayor and several local politicians have advocated for changes to the admissions criteria for eight specialized high schools in New York City.  The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) has always been the sole criteria for admission to these elite schools for students of every color.  Because of their scores on this test, presently, thousands of underserved minority Asian students have been able to obtain a quality education that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Politicians are proposing to scrap the SHSAT in order to increase diversity in these specialized high schools.  The Independent Budget Office estimates at approximately 1450, or nearly half, of Asian students will be displaced. Despite 10,000 signatures on a petition to preserve the SHSAT, new Bills (Assembly Bill A2173) to change the admission requirements away from the SHSAT have once again been proposed.  Proponents of abolishing the objective and unbiased SHSAT claim that the SHSAT is an unfair measure of achievement because it favors only those who can afford test preparation, and thus limits the opportunity for a high-quality education for those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. This claim, however, is unsubstantiated because between 34% to 61% of the current student body in these specialized high schools are eligible for free lunch ($35K annual income for a family of four) and more than three-quarters of the student body at Stuyvesant (one of the specialized schools) are either first- or second-generation immigrants where English isn’t their first language.  Several politicians argue even the best college in the nation use multiple criteria for admissions.  However, the median household income for Harvard undergrads is $168K and for Brown undergrads is $204K.  Is that the kind of socioeconomic diversity we are looking for in New York City’s public high schools? Furthermore the SHSAT has been validated by a formal study sponsored by the DOE but kept secret for 5 years. The under representation of Black and Latino students in specialized high schools is unacceptable, however, changing the admission requirements away from the SHSAT does not address the crisis in k-8 education in low income Black and Hispanic communities. Changing the SHSAT will only hurt low-income families as a whole and disadvantage the poorest ethnic group in New York city.  Thus, we urge Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie and members of the New York State Assembly Education Committee (chaired by Michael Benedetto) to keep the SHSAT as the sole admission criterion for these politically under-represented who have worked hard for admission into these schools.  Taking away education opportunities from one disadvantaged minority group to serve another minority group is not the solution!

32,390 supporters