New York City Parents Call for a Return to Merit-based School Admissions

“Critics of the new system argue that it has adversely affected diversity and integration, while supporters maintain that it upholds academic standards. Many parents, including a significant proportion of first-generation immigrants, have voiced a preference for a merit-based admissions process. Yi Feng Chen, a parent that moved her child to another district after he was waitlisted, said, ‘Parents, myself and the large, first-generation immigrant community within the district, we want admissions based on merit.’

Previously, District 20, which has more than 50,000 students, offered eight of these specialized programs. However, the current policy has reduced that to three while reducing the number of sixth-grade seats from 800 to 600. Advocacy groups estimate that the district needs close to 2,000 seats based on student test scores.”

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