Top 10 Most Read Articles of 2022-2023

Special Edition: June 26, 2023

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NYC’s New Gifted & Talented Admissions Brings Chaos — and Disregards Research

By Alina Adams for The 74 Million, 5/14/2023

From Issue #104: Mayor’s latest change turns the process into a glorified lottery, negating what science says gives these programs value

New York City has, once again, tweaked qualification requirements for entry into its gifted-and-talented program for first through fourth grade next year. In the process, the district has managed to disregard research that spells out what specifically gave these programs any value.


“Equity” and Excellence, Four Years Later

By Wai Wah Chin for City Journal, 12/9/2022

From Issue #90: New data from two of New York City’s specialized high schools show the costs of the war on meritocracy.

Four years ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed that New York City’s renowned specialized high schools didn’t “look like” the city and declared war on their meritocratic admissions processes. In his announcement, de Blasio cited the familiar woke mantra that achieving the all-important goal of “equity” would not compromise excellence. Four years later, how has excellence fared? Thanks to data recently obtained by parents who used Freedom of Information requests on perhaps the two best-known specialized high schools—Bronx Science and Stuyvesant—we now have answers.


How Brooklyn’s Much-Copied Diversity Plan Helped Throw its Best Middle School Into Chaos

By Matt Welch for, 12/9/2022 

From Issue #96: After former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio changed the admissions rules at the school his kids graduated from, testing, safety, and excellence plummeted.

When then-Mayor Bill de Blasio and the entire New York City political and educational establishment unveiled in September 2018 a trailblazing new middle-school Diversity Plan that radically changed the admissions criteria for Brooklyn’s District 15 in the name of racial “equity,” they chose the most symbolic possible site for the announcement: M.S. 51, the William Alexander School, in progressive (and prosperous) Park Slope.


Principal at renowned LaGuardia HS stepping down after controversial tenure

By David Propper for the NY Post, 12/9/2022

From Issue #98: The principal of Manhattan’s renowned LaGuardia High School is stepping down next month following a controversial tenure.

Principal Yeou-Jey Vasconcelos announced the move in an email to parents on Monday where she said she’s leaving the school, and the city Department of Education, on March 3 for a new job.

“I will soon find myself with a new role,” she wrote in the email obtained by The Post.

PLACE NYC Petition: Chancellor Banks and PEP Members: Please REJECT the Working Group Recommendation to Defund Specialized High Schools

By PLACE NYC, 11/2022

From Issue #86: PLACE NYC organized a petition to protest against recommendations to cut funding for 13 high schools issued by a Department of Education Working Group.

A Department of Education Working Group recommended permanently cutting funding for 13 high schools that serve some of New York City’s highest achieving students. The Working Group targeted these 13 schools out of the 1,800+ public schools in the system. These 13 are known as the portfolio academic high schools and include the eight SHSAT Schools and five other academically selective schools. 

The SHSAT Discourse is Broken

By Ross Barkan, 6/5/2023

From Issue #105: Award-winning local NYC Journalist Ross Barkan’s commentary on the SHSAT and the Specialized High Schools

Last week, the New York Times reported that just seven Black students were admitted to Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. This was the Times’ focus for a story that also noted that a mere 10 percent of students who are Black and Hispanic were admitted into city specialized high schools overall. For the Times, the Stuyvesant figure seized the headline, because the statistics were so dramatic. Stuyvesant, perhaps the crown jewel of the specialized high schools in New York, admitted 762 students total. Seven out of 762 is less than 1%.

What’s going on here? 

Parents who back merit, higher standards dominate NYC school council elections

By Carl Campanile for the NY Post, 6/18/2023

From Issue #106: PLACE NYC endorsed candidates sweep CEC Elections
Nearly three-quarters of the parent hopefuls backed by Parent Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum and Education won school-council seats and will now make up a significant 40% of all elected reps on the Citywide & Community Education Councils — the city’s version of school boards — for the 2023-2025 term.

Results from the 2023 NYC School Admission Lottery Surveys

By Amelie Marian for Algorithms in the Wild, 3/19/2023

From Issue #101: Researcher parent Amelie Marian’s analysis on the 2023 High School Admissions lotteries

This post reports the results of the crowdsourcing survey for the 2023 NYC HS Admission Lottery. To learn more about the lottery and see the results for the 2021 and 2022 admission cycle you can read the first three posts in the series:

With Schools Ditching Merit for Diversity, Families of High Achievers Head for the Door

By Vince Bielski for RealClearEducation, 1/4/2023

From Issue #93: Many parents, particularly in District 2, are appalled by the rollback of meritocracy.

Shilkrut is one of many parents who are dismayed by the city’s dismantling of competitive education. He says he values diversity but is concerned that the expectation that academic rigor will be scaled back to accommodate a broad range of students in a lottery is what’s driving him and other parents to seek alternatives.


Leaked NYC schools video shows implicit bias a key concern as gifted and talented program expands

By Jessica Gould for Gothamist, 1/18/2023

From Issue #94: A leaked training video for New York City public school teachers highlights the city’s concern about implicit bias affecting the selection of gifted and talented students who are as young as 4.

The new training video was widely distributed among teachers and staff and comes ahead of the Jan. 20 deadline for parents to apply to the program, which has been dogged by years of criticism that it is a tool of segregation in city schools. The training video reflects new guidance from the Adams administration, which announced reforms of the gifted and talented program in April.