Friday, March 26, 2010

School choice is serious business: litigation and politics in NYC and Chicago

In NYC, high school admissions have been delayed by a lawsuit motivated by the city's effort to close some schools: High school letters delayed.

"March 24 Update — Chancellor Joel Klein released a statement on the delay of high school letters today. “I understand you are anxious to receive this information, and rest assured, the Department of Education is doing everything possible to make the matches available soon,” it reads.
The statement acknowledges that the delay is being caused by the NAACP/teachers union lawsuit, but does not comment on the lawsuit or provide an estimated date for the letters’ release. It does state that the DOE will issue another update when it “knows more.”
March 23 — Eighth-graders anxiously awaiting receipt of high school acceptances letters tomorrow will have to be patient a while longer. How much longer is not clear. The letters, due to be distributed to students on March 24, are still being held up by court order because of a lawsuit filed against the Department of Education by the NAACP and the teachers union. The lawsuit charges that the DOE acted illegally in moving to close 19 schools."

Update: March 26, Judge Blocks Closing of 19 New York City Schools. The city will appeal. In the meantime, "The lawsuit had held up some 85,000 high school acceptance letters that were due out on Wednesday. The city’s interpretation of the ruling is that it clears the way for all those letters to go out next week, although the plaintiffs disagree.
Students were required to state their high school preferences in early December, around the time the department began to reveal which schools it wanted to close. About 8,500 applied to the schools proposed for closing and were notified later that they could not attend them. Those students will receive acceptance letters from other schools next week, along with a note saying that they could revert to their original choice if the school remains open. "

In Chicago, school assignments involved some high powered political wheeling and dealing: In Chicago, Obama Aide Had V.I.P. List for Schools.

HT: Parag Pathak

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