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Queens officials blast de Blasio staffer for interrupting meeting on SHSAT

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The battle for the SHSAT is not going away anytime soon, with elected officials calling out a de Blasio administration employee who is accused of attempting to end the public comment portion of an Oct. 23 Community Education Council 24 meeting.

The representative from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s intergovernmental affairs, Roberto Perez, was said to have attempted to block CEC 24 president Lucy Accardo from returning to the stage after using the restroom and tried to call the heated meeting at the Queens Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills to an end, according to the New York Daily News.

Staff from CEC 24, which is mostly in Councilman Robert Holden’s district, has not returned request for comment.

“As public servants, our job is to listen to the concerns of our constituents and address them, period,” Holden said. “It is appalling that someone who is paid to represent the people would not only attempt to silence these concerned parents at a public meeting, but do so by intimidating members of the CEC.”

The SHSAT has created an even wider rift between the city and state when de Blasio attempted to have a bill passed in the legislature which would abolish the exam for specialized high schools.

The de Blasio administration has released statistics showing that specialized high schools are dominated by mostly which students, which black and Hispanic pupils not getting a fair shake.

But state legislators, who would ultimately need to pass any laws enacting the mayor’s initiative, were widely opposed to ending the test in favor of instead increasing access to the exam and supporting test prep programs.

State Senator Tony Avella said he would continue to champion upholding the SHSAT.

“The mayor’s office and city Department of Education should be ashamed of themselves for trying to stop community members from voicing their opposition to mayor’s plan to end the Specialized High School Admissions Test,” Avella said.

The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Updated 3:36 pm, October 26, 2018
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Reader feedback

Benjamin Geremia from Woodside NY says:
deLusional deBlasio and most of his underlings care nothing about public opinion. Pick any topic. Homeless shelters...deLusional deBlasio and DHS Commisioner Banks continue to shove homeless shelters everywhere despite public protests against them. The HYCHA nightmare. People without heat and hot water, crumbling apartments, too many children with lead poisoning, but not according to the deLusional Mayor. He thought only two children showed signs of lead poisoning! Testing for specialized high schools...deLusional deBlasio and superintendent Carranza think too many talented and hardworking Asian students are being accepted to these schools. They plan to remedy that by denying the children who deserve to be there, with children who most likely will not be able to keep up with the curriculum. Protests fall on deaf ears! No. deLusional deBlasio doesn't care about anyone but himself.
Oct. 26, 6:16 pm
John from Elmhurst says:
The Mayor instead of spending all of this energy that he is burning on SHSAT he should be directing to the root cause of the problem....focus on improving K-8 education throughout the city and we can have world class education in every neighborhood. The teachers union also needs to be less selfish and start focusing on the kids. Oh what a utopia I believe in.....
Oct. 28, 4:25 pm
Z from North Eastern Queens says:
The Mayor of NYC, represents ALL! Not just those students who score higher on test. Also some of our students can not afford these Expensive Test Prep Centers. That average $800. and up...Which is just another reason why these test should be abolished...
Oct. 29, 9:05 am
Max from Queens says:
These Specialized High Schools should be used by All NYC High School Students.. Equal opportunity for All Students...
Oct. 29, 9:11 am
Celtic from Bayside says:
Black/Hispanic kids in NYC aren't capable of excelling in competitive high schools. Don't hold the gifted kids back.
Oct. 29, 8:23 pm
Dante from Yale says:
My black is driving this, not my white dad
Oct. 30, 12:16 am
Dante from Yale says:
My black mom is driving this, not my white dad
Oct. 30, 12:17 am
Brown skin from Carranza's hood says:
If I can't have it, no one can. I should get it because others have it. I'm sick of entitled white and asians.
Oct. 31, 12:10 pm
Z's counselor from Z's high school says:
How about you do some free online test prep from the laptop you stole from school?
Oct. 31, 12:11 pm

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