Take Actions on High School Admissions

Do two things today.

  1. Sign a petition to “Demand Fair and Transparent High School Admissions from Chancellor Banks and NYC” https://chng.it/wkt5KSgDSQ
  2. Send an email to Chancellor Banks and First Deputy Dan Weisberg. Template below; please personalize as you wish.

TO: nycchancellor@schools.nyc.gov, FirstDeputyChancellor@schools.nyc.gov

CC: info@manhattanbp.nyc.gov, info@queensbp.org, AskReynoso@brooklynbp.nyc.gov, webmail@bronxbp.nyc.gov, vfossella@statenislandusa.com, liu@nysenate.gov, District40@council.nyc.gov

SUBJECT: Please Consider Changing the High School Admissions Criteria.

Dear Chancellor Banks and First Deputy Chancellor Weisberg,

I am writing to express my displeasure with the new High School Admissions Policy that is really a lottery in disguise. The Group band is so wide that the number of students who will qualify will far exceed the number of seats in high schools that this band of students would apply to, resulting in a lottery. In addition, using the highest of 3 previous grades for each of the 4 courses further inflates the pool of potential students. This high school admissions process was designed as a race based admissions process (https://nypost.com/2022/02/16/nyc-admissions-changes-will-boost-black-hispanic-enrollment/) and will harm and discourage far more students than those who may benefit.

I agree with the need for diversity and expanding access, however, this high school policy does not expand access to students, it only re-engineers which students get in while denying access to other students. The policy does nothing to improve the underlying problem which is the lack of quality rigorous academic education that so many of our Black and Hispanic students receive in elementary school and then middle school. This then leads to the lack of access to the more rigorous high schools for many of our students across our city, and creation of policies such as this which targets and reduces the number of Asian students in these schools, and while having mixed results for White students.

Improving the quality and rigor of elementary and middle school education for all our students would lead to the increased diversity at our high demand high schools that we all desire without penalizing students. We believe it would also lead to a greater number of sought-after, high performing high schools in all boroughs.

[Add a personal story if you like]

This policy also does not attempt to match students with schools that meet their academic needs, and also does not attempt to address the problem of the lack of quality high school seats. Students are pushed to enroll in schools that lack the necessary advanced and AP classes students need to apply to their desired college. This policy will only drive more students to leave the public school system and continue the decline in enrollment, while having severe negative effects on students who cannot afford other options.

Please consider narrowing the bands and instead of taking the highest score, use the average of the last 3 grades for each of the courses for the 2022-23 high school admissions process, and then have actual parent engagement when developing the high school admission policy for future years.


[Your name, parent of 8th grader]