The Ivy Coach Daily

March 13, 2022

Status Quo for NYC High School Admission

A piece in The New York Post focuses on admission to New York City’s public high schools.

Bill de Blasio, one of New York City’s more unpopular mayors in history, ushered in changes to the admissions process to the city’s public schools. The changes, made in the spirit of equity, needless to say didn’t go over so well with many Big Apple parents and students. Essentially, the changes made admission to New York City’s public high schools somewhat of a lottery system as all students with grades of 85 or above were considered in the top tier of applicants (which is 60% of applicants!). Many parents of top-performing students were thus left frustrated, wondering why their child bothered to get a 98 on a math test when they could have gotten an 85 since it would have made no difference.

As Selim Algar reports for The New York Post in a piece entitled “Parents set to flee NYC high schools as chief Banks leaves entry to ’lottery’,” “Schools Chancellor David Banks has decided not to change the high school admissions process for next year — angering those who call it a glorified lottery and pleasing groups who back more diversity in competitive schools…Under intense pressure from all sides, Banks hinted at a possible alteration in recent days. The new schools chief has stressed that the system was devised before he took office and that he recognized why some were opposed. But with applications due Friday, Banks opted not to disturb what has become an increasingly fractious status quo. Department of Education models found that the admissions process for next year will boost black and Hispanic enrollment by 13 percent…Many of those families said they planned to exit the DOE — and perhaps the city — if the admissions framework did not change at the last minute.”

We appreciate that New York City’s Department of Education made these changes to the admissions process in the sprit of equity, but lumping all students with grades of 85 or above together seems unfair and demotivating to middle schoolers. There has to be a better way. And while the new NYC Schools Chancellor has only been on the job a short while and likely didn’t have enough time to propose changes to the admissions process before applications were due on Friday, a lottery system can’t be the way. We urge Mayor Eric Garcia to change this admissions process in time for next year so it’s fairer for all.

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