Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Farina on Monday visited Queens Vocational and Technical High School in Long Island City to congratulate students that participated in the first-ever citywide SAT School Day this week.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Monday visited Queens Vocational and Technical High School in Long Island City to rally juniors who would participate in the first-ever citywide SAT School Day on Wednesday.
According to the administration, 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, an initiative in the administration’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready.
“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,” de Blasio said. “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.”
According to City Hall, 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, administration officials said. Research has demonstrated the importance of strong college and career culture, and the mayor called them 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, City officials noted.
“SAT School Day helps eliminate obstacles many public school students face when pursuing higher education,” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), chairman of the Council Education Committee. “For many NYC children, the path to college is fraught with difficulties. Too often, financial hardship, language and other barriers are insurmountable challenges. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña for spearheading this effort which will make college more accessible to all. I look forward to working with the administration to expand this important initiative.”
Through College Access for All, the administration noted on Monday, 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 school-wide college and career culture. Queens Vocational and Technical High School is among these schools, the City pointed out; and the juniors that de Blasio and Fariña met on Monday just returned from an overnight trip to four colleges in Pennsylvania and Delaware funded through College Access for All.