The Department of Education threw some parents into a tailspin this weekend when it posted erroneous registration deadlines for the city’s specialized high school exam.
“The deadline for SHSAT registration is 2/23/2021,” the post reads. “Until then, you can change your school preference order for the eight testing Specialized High Schools and resubmit your SHSAT registration. All students who register for the SHSAT by the deadline will be scheduled to take the SHSAT.”
But the department previously said that the test would be held on January 27 — putting the registration deadline well beyond the exam date.
The DOE said that the error was the result of a coding issue and appeared online from late Friday until Monday afternoon when it was fixed.
The February deadline was meant to only apply for LaGuardia HS auditions, not for all specialized schools.
Confused parents reached out to guidance counselors over the weekend after word of the contradictory guidance spread on social media.
“No one knows what is going on,” one mom told The Post Monday. “Everyone is asking if they have the wrong test date or if it had been changed. And the guidance counselors didn’t know what to say.”
While the DOE solved that error, confusion persisted into Tuesday.
A separate message on the DOE’s parent site stated that families had until January 28 to register for the exam — still a day after the administration date.
The agency later told The Post that that note referred to secondary SHSAT dates for charter and private school students — along with public school kids who registered within a given grace period.
The primary testing date for city kids, they reiterated, remains January 27.
“We have a dedicated team ready to answer any questions families may have about admissions and apologize for any confusion,” said DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon.
Prolonged uncertainty about the fate of this year’s exam due to COVID-19 disruptions and ongoing political fights fueled the weekend angst.
The single-test admissions structure has become an increasingly contentious political issue in recent years.
Critics argue that the standardized exam is a narrow measure of student potential and has led to minimal African-American and Hispanic enrollment.
They also contend that the test benefits kids with the resources to better prepare for it.
The eight elite schools are primarily Asian and white.
At Stuyvesant HS, considered the DOE’s most competitive and prestigious institution, Asians make up 73 percent of the student body, followed by whites at 19 percent, Latinos at 3 percent, and blacks at 1 percent.
Backers of the current format argue that it rewards preparation and has forged some of the top academic high schools in the nation.
They also note that the schools have high low-income and immigrant populations.