2016-2017 Archives Culture Entertainment and Culture Faiza T'18 Opinion Student Life

Students vs. SAT/ACT

For many students, one of the biggest goals in their high school career is to receive a decent score on their SAT or ACT. Although people have different definitions of what is considered adequate, BSGE students have standards set fairly high. Along with diploma grades and extracurriculars, the score on these standardized tests weigh heavily on a student’s future. It can the deciding factor for the colleges one gets accepted to, and thus the rest of their life.

by BACC Rag staff

BSGE 2015 Graduates’ College Destinations

Laura Agosto will attend Baruch College.

Alyssa Alvarado will attend Hunter College.

Nicholas Anastasio will attend University at Buffalo.

Mariana Arias will attend Queens College.
The Dream US Scholarship recipient.

Sumbul Baig will attend Long Island University’s Pharmd Program.
Merit Award recipient. Assemblywoman Catherine
Nolan’s Lamp of Learning Award for Community
Leadership and Academic Merit recipient.

Steven Becker will attend Binghamton University.

Christopher Birsan will attend Baruch College.

Grace Camia will attend the University of Southern California.
New York state 2015 Series Scholarship for Academic Excellence recipient.

Grant Cannon will attend Gordon College.
Harold John Ockenga Scholarship recipient.
Department of Education of the City of New York Cooperation in Government Certificate of Recognition for Exemplary Service and Outstanding CitizenshipRecipient.

Gavriela Carver will attend Cornell University.
New York State 2015 Series Scholarship for Academic Excellence recipient. City Council Citation Speaker’s Achievement Award for Demonstrating Academic Excellence and Commitment to Public Service recipient.

Noelani Certuche-Moreno will attend Penn State Abington.
Provost award recipient. Bunton Waller Scholarship recipient.

by Mahaut B '16

Editorial: Students Preparing for College; too Busy to Prepare for Life

Throughout this school year college applications have loomed ominously over our heads. We Juniors are told we need to start thinking about how appealing we will be to colleges which means not only worrying about our grades and our SAT scores but also partaking in extracurricular activities (for CAS hours). One scenario we are presented with over and over again is if two people apply to a prestigious college, have perfect SAT scores, perfect grades but one of them didn’t do much outside school and the other joined lots of different clubs and engaged in various activities outside school the latter will be accepted. Not only are teenagers expected to perform off the charts in school but to be socially, creatively and physically fit. Colleges are looking for leaders, virtuosos, accomplished athletes; charismatic, “interesting”, ideal individuals. In other words they are looking for evidence of a so-called defined identity, a “strong personality”. To me that expression makes no sense. It’s ridiculous because not only do colleges have a narrow criteria for people they are

by Lydia S '15

Know Before You Judge: BSGE’s College Acceptance Board

Each year the very same process occurs beginning in January and ending in late June when passerby hover around the blue bulletin board that inhabits the lobby. The list of seniors and their accompanying college acceptances, paired with the amount of financial aid they received from each university are stapled on the wall so that students, staff, parents and virtually anyone walking into BSGE can see and comment. These displayed words and numbers are frequently met with either admiring acclaims, “Wow, she got into Stanford AND Columbia!” or critical remarks such as, “This person only got into CUNYs… This person didn’t receive any money from this school…”

Overall, it creates a very controversial environment, which was not intended when the idea of posting seniors’ acceptances on the wall, was born. The purpose of the college board was to glorify and congratulate Seniors on all the amazing schools they were gaining acceptance to, and to show how much money they received to attend these schools – an especially important factor in our current economy. It was a way to bring positive light to BSGE, and also a way for prospective students and parents to get an idea of what kind of schools BSGE’s seniors were gaining acceptance to.

But as most ideas with good intentions evolve, this board has received such negative connotations that many Seniors experience discomfort at the thought of having their name and college acceptances on the board.

Tahmid A' 18

Legal Outreach Helping One Kid At A Time

Many BSGE students have passed by the curious neighboring building to BSGE, with its yellow stripes on the outside and sleek design. But most are unaware of what inhabits this building, besides anxious BSGE Seniors taking their exams on a few days every May. This building is home to a Legal Outreach program, an educational and enriching program that some of the BSGE student body participate in.


The Summer Legal Outreach program (SLI) prepares kids from underserved communities in New York City to participate in higher education programs. They teach kids how to develop skills for the real world and build confidence. This program starts from the summer before 8th grade to the end of the 12th grade. Students attend this program during the summer and after school to work on their communication and life skills. College Bound’s help in boosting self confidence appeals to a wide range of students, even those that are not very interested in law. Legal Outreach has two programs, SLI and College Bound. If a student joins SLI, he or she is automatically eligible for College Bound. All the students in College Bound get accepted to the top 50 universities such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell and other selective universities.

However, this year many students quit this program because of how challenging and rigorous it was. This being the case, the Legal Outreach Program decided to take only ten students this year because of the number of dropouts. An applicant from our school, Yashna Ahmed 18′ says “this program will help encourage me and will successfully help me become a great speaker.” Also, since this 4 year program includes internships outside of  Legal Outreach, she says “it will help me achieve good character and educate and further aid me in pursuing things I love.”

by Maya J '16

ACT vs. SAT: Which one should YOU take?

It’s that time of year again: the temperature has dropped below freezing, we are finally seeing snowfall on the weather forecast… and the dreaded first mentions of the word “SAT” have appeared among juniors. The class of 2016 will be the last grade to take the older SAT before major changes are implemented next Spring. For those who have not already taken the SAT or ACT in October, November or December, the standardized test, in one form or another, is now very much on the horizon for 11th graders.


Although many students consider the SAT the obvious choice for standardized testing, the ACT is also accepted by colleges and universities, and neither test gives an applicant an advantage. Instead, it is important to pick the test that you feel you are better suited to. Since the tests measure different skills, some students feel that one test is better for their way of thinking than the other. While the SAT has infamous vocabulary questions and trickier reasoning, the ACT requires content memorization but is easier to decipher. While the SAT may be better for a student with a long, focused attention span and strong logical reasoning, the ACT’s advanced math and science sections may be better suited to a student strong in these subject areas.

by Moshan G '17

The Current vs. Redesigned SAT

During the spring of 2016, a new version of the SAT—the Standardized Admissions Test—will be distributed among high school juniors. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the role of the SAT, this exam claims to assess your college-readiness and is usually taken by 11th and 12th grade students in high school. SAT scores are a crucial part in the college admission process, however more and more schools are becoming SAT optional. Unlike the current SAT, this redesigned SAT contains more questions that are relevant to what you are learning in school and greatly focuses on the skills you need for college and career readiness.


By creating a new SAT, the College Board wants to fix a major flaw in the current SAT: its majority irrelevance to the high school curriculum. Many of the components involved in this current exam are not taught in high schools, which may prove to be disadvantageous for students because they will have to prep for themselves in order to prepare for the exam. For example, the current SAT reading section contains many obscure words that are rarely used or taught at school. In preparing for the SAT, many students pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to enter prep classes and purchase study books. The new SAT, on the othe

by Lydia S '15

College-Related Tensions for Seniors Across the City

During the Fall Semester, high school seniors around the country, and quite possibly the world, undergo a shift in moods within their graduating class. The cheerful and open environment that they once held with their peers from 9th to 11th grade has now disappeared with the appearance of the looming college application process. At least, that is what most high school seniors go through – except at BSGE.

When asked about their thoughts on the current level of tension within the Class of 2015, most BSGE seniors felt that there was an absence of said tension. Max Fischman ’15 commented, “Our grade is so close to the point that we are really supporting one another in the college process rather than trying to gain an upper hand.” Another senior, Marcos Delgado ’15, agreed, saying, “I feel like most BSGE students I know are actually encouraging of one another when it comes to the college process.”

This supportive feeling throughout the senior class is quite unique, especially when it comes to other New York City high schools. Former BSGE student and now Bronx Science senior Andrew Piliero explained the current negative interactions between seniors in his high school.

by Justin H '17

The Fault in Our Science Department

As many BSGE students know, our school is small. One result of this is that our science department, while still very good, doesn’t have everything it could have if this were a larger school. Specifically, we have no physics class and no HL science classes. In the IB program, HL stands for “higher level,” as opposed to SL, which stands for “standard level.” While both are IB courses, and therefore quite advanced by necessity, HL classes are more advanced than SL.

Many BSGE students are very annoyed at these features that our science department does not have. Having no physics class can put us at a disadvantage when students try to decide if they should stay here or go to a different school for 9th grade, and then again when students compete for college spots with people from other schools. Emily Costa ’17 said that she thinks that “physics is a very important subject for a school to have, and it would be great for BSGE. When 8th graders decide on a high school, the lack of a physics department may cause students to favor other schools.” Leeana Johnston ’17 explained that many people who choose to stay despite these problems regret their choice, because “there are many students that apply to MIT but no one ever gets in because none of them have taken these standard, basic courses and that puts them at a disadvantage. This school is supposed to open up your options and allow you to get into better schools, but the fact that we are not offered those classes takes this away.” For a school like ours, which attracts people who are quite capable of getting into universities such as MIT, this is a huge problem.

Not every student sees this as a major problem, however. Talika Basantani ’18 said that in her opinion the lacking science department does not matter so much, because “In BSGE, we take more semesters of high school classes than any other classes. For example, taking ten semesters of high school math instead of six or eight.”   She added

by Maya J '16

BSGE Alumni at Brown University

BSGE alumni – and former Bacc Rag writers – stick together! From left to right: Simran Vazirani ’11, Jan Wyszynski ’13 and Sebastian Ali ’14, pictured last month, all currently attend Brown University.

by Abdullah S '20

BSGE’s Parent Coordinator Has Her Own Advisory

Until recently, Margaret Pasach’s only job was parent coordinator of BSGE . But this year she has also taken up the job of having her own advisory. She is the first parent coordinator to be assigned her own advisory, additionally a 12th grade advisory which is not an easy task.

When asked about why Ms. Pasach has her own advisory, she explained that the previous 12th grade advisor was no longer available, so the position was given to her. Ms. Pasach added, “I didn’t ask for it, necessarily, but at the same time I am really happy to be doing it. Because I enjoy getting to know the students.”

From her experience as parent coordinator, she is already accustomed to clarifying concepts and BSGE programs to parents and students. She says she enjoys helping students and parents alike because it is what both her roles demand of her, as parent coordinator and advisor.

by Ausra P '18 Uncategorized

BSGE Demystifies IB

Have you ever wondered what our school name BSGE means? It stands for Baccalaureate School for Global Education and it refers to the IB (International Baccalaureate) program established in BSGE in 2005. The IB program has been applied to over 4,000 schools (public and private) in 147 countries, over one quarter of them in the United States and 24 in New York. Students of these schools are aged 3-19. Our school focuses on two of the four programs, the pre-diploma program and the diploma program. In this program students aged 16-19 follow a rigorous two-year curriculum leading to the final examinations. This program helps students to develop physically, emotionally,