The Broken Promise of Choice in New York City

Diane Ravitch's blog

The New York Times published a lengthy article about New York City’s complicated and byzantine high school admissions process, which was launched 14 years ago to give choice to every student. With few (if any) exceptions, neighborhood high schools were a thing of the past. Students went to school fairs and scanned a lengthy catalogue to review the offerings of hundreds of high schools across the city. Zip code mattered not at all. Some schools had specific entry requirements, such as a difficult entrance examination or a talent audition. Most were open admissions. Now, a generation later, the results are in:

Under a system created during Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration, eighth graders can apply anywhere in the city, in theory unshackling themselves from failing, segregated neighborhood schools. Students select up to 12 schools and get matched to one by a special algorithm. This process was part of a package…

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