Open Letter to Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack: Summary of Parent Input on Screened Admissions

Dear Josh,

As your team is modeling out changes to screened admissions, I want to summarize for you the DOE parent forums, CEC resolutions, and survey results as well as many of the PLACE NYC advocacy efforts. We know that you’ve been busy listening to other advocacy groups and elected officials but we feel that parent voices especially those in public forums and councils should be held in the highest regard.

DOE Admissions Engagements

Two-thirds majority of NYC parents and students ask the DOE to preserve academic screening. In Queens, 21 speakers were in favor of keeping screened schools, compared with five who were opposed. In Staten Island, all 22 parents who spoke about screens were in favor of maintaining screens. Brooklyn saw a split, with 19 parents in favor of screens, and 17 against. Manhattan participants were in favor of screens by 2 to 1 (21 vs. 9).  The Bronx was the only borough with the majority of parents looking to eliminate screens (11 vs. 4)

CEC Resolutions, President’s Council and CEC Surveys

Four of the eight largest CEC’s voted as a COUNCIL in favor of screened admissions: CEC2, CEC30, CEC24, CEC28 (resolutions and survey results attached). These districts represent over 200,000 families. Additionally, the largest President’s Council (D2) conducted a survey that demonstrated overwhelming support by respondents for the continued use of both grades and test scores for middle-school and high-school admissions. 

PLACE NYC Parent Surveys, Petitions, and June 4 DOE Meeting

Over 92% of parents surveyed by PLACE NYC are “Extremely or Very Concerned” about possible changes to school admissions in the wake of the newly announced DOE grading policy which reduces all final End of Year grades to “meets standards” or “needs improvement”

PLACE NYC received over 6,000 signers to our petition asking to preserve academic screens in just the past month, 2000 of which signed the petition within the first 48 hours

And of course, you heard first hand from over 35 parents who spoke up in support of screened admissions at our June 4 Admissions event. Thank you for your generosity in hearing all the parents who wished to speak that evening.

We would like to meet with you to discuss those specific models and provide feedback.  It is important that parents weigh-in not only about screens, but about what system will potentially replace them, before that system is announced as final, and request that you hold town halls so that parents can comment on the actual proposed plan before it is finalized.

Thank you. We look forward to partnering with you for the benefit of all our public school families.