Friday, June 24, 2022

New York City school choice: increased use of lotteries in the news

The recent emphasis on lotteries in NYC school choice is discussed in the NY Times:

N.Y.C. Tried to Fix High School Admissions. Some Parents Are Furious. In an attempt to democratize schools, the city is focusing less on grades, attendance and test scores. Instead, it relies heavily on a lottery.  By Ginia Bellafante

"Some back story: Apart from what are known as the specialized high schools — hypercompetitive institutions like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science that, controversially, admit students on the basis of a single standardized test — the city gives eighth graders the option of applying to 160 screened high schools and programs that have their own criteria.

"Whether a student qualifies for one of these selective schools has typically depended on an opaque combination of grades, test scores (different from the ones used for the specialized high schools), essays, art portfolios and other work. The next step has students rank their preferences in descending order on a scale of one to 12, after which they are thrown into a lottery. A prizewinning algorithm developed to match medical students to residency programs then determines where a student is placed.

"Among high-achieving families in Manhattan, brownstone Brooklyn and many parts of Queens, the goal is not a spot in just any of the 160 schools but admission to eight or nine that are especially competitive, prestigious and largely dominated by white and Asian families. What has caused such ire in the current admissions cycle is that many parents discovered that their children — students with grade-point averages in the high 90s, for instance — were admitted to none of their ranked choices. Instead they would be funneled to schools they knew little about.


"The state exams, usually a determining factor in high school placements, had been abandoned during the pandemic. So, too, were attendance records. Students with grades in the mid-80s were now bundled with those who had much higher averages, meaning that an eighth-grader with an academically stellar record but a poor lottery number could easily lose out to a merely very good student with a great lottery assignation."


Previous related posts:

Monday, April 18, 2022

No comments: