HSPT® Prep: A Superintendent’s Response to an HSPT® Test Prep Provider

As you may know, STS does not support or endorse any formal student test preparation for the High School Placement Test. This view is also shared by many of the schools who use HSPT® every year. See below for a clearly articulated view of HSPT® test preparation from a superintendent.

Dear Test Prep Provider,

I received a copy of your flyer from one of our principals.  The Catholic High School administrators and I have discussed your test prep program on several occasions over the past few years.

It has been my understanding from Dr. John Kauffman, STS, that he neither endorses nor recommends that students from Catholic elementary schools take a test prep course for the HSPT®.  Dr. Kauffmann believes that 8 or 9 years of Catholic school education is all that is necessary for students to do well on the HSPT®.  As a matter of fact, all of the qualified 8th grade students in our Catholic elementary schools are accepted into one of our Catholic high schools.

Additionally, I am concerned about the message this sends to our parents. Your message implies that the investment they have made in their child’s Catholic elementary school education now needs augmenting in order to get into a Catholic high school. Parents and students are anxious enough about the prospect of going to high school.  It appears to me that your HSPT® prep program is feeding on their anxiety and creating a need where none exists.

I suspect that you are well intended.  However, I will discourage our elementary school principals from offering, supporting, or endorsing your test prep program to our eighth grade students and their parents.

Sincerely yours,
Ms. Maureen Huntington
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of San Francisco

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