Hi everybody. It’s Deidre Williams here just following up from last week’s committee meetings at the Buffalo Board of Education.
There were developments we didn’t have time to get into because of the fire alarm that abruptly ended the meeting.
Before that happened, the principals of City Honors and Olmsted 156 talked about how they are loosening their admissions requirements for kids who want to get into two of the most competitive high schools in the district.
Until now there have been seven requirements but now going forward there will be six.
City Honors will get rid of its standardized essays, while Olmsted will drop the creativity tests.
City Honors Principal William A. Kresse and his counterpart at Olmsted, Michael Gruber, said they based their decision on the fact there is no need to inconvenience parents and students with the tests because the students who perform well on them are the same ones who perform well on the other admissions tests.
"It’s really not making a difference," Kresse said of the essay test that was dropped at his school. "After studying the testing process for the past few years, it became very evident that the standardized essay component was now replicating the more rigorous New York state ELA component which was putting families at an inconvenience for no good reason."
Dropping the creativity test at Olmsted - which has grades five through 12 - eliminates the expense of paying people to administer it and the costs of sending the completed exams to California for scoring, Gruber said.
"We were giving the creativity text and still getting the same information from parents and teachers," Gruber said. "So we figured, why duplicate it?"
The remaining criteria areas at City Honors are:
cognitive ability assessment
New York State Math scores
New York State English scores
In addition to the same cognitive ability assessments and the Math and English state test scores, the remaining criteria areas at Olmsted are:
Parent recommendation geared around academic achievement, creativity and perseverance on tasks
Teacher recommendation focused on the same items as the parent recommendation
- High school grade point average of 85.