Under New Policy, Selective Manhattan High Schools Offer More Seats To Students Outside District


The elimination of geographic preferences at one Manhattan college district has led to a skyrocketing variety of outerborough college students supplied seats on the district’s most selective excessive colleges, the town Division of Schooling stated whereas asserting the outcomes of highschool admissions Friday.

“The COVID-19 international pandemic interrupted a lot of our regular school-year practices final yr, together with an absence of State testing, and revised approaches to grading and attendance insurance policies,” DOE spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon stated in an announcement Friday. “Within the wake of the well being disaster, the Metropolis introduced commonsense modifications to the highschool admissions course of that had been grounded in fairness and straight addressed the unprecedented circumstances that households and our faculty system had been and proceed to grapple with.”

The town’s highschool admissions course of includes rating as much as 12 colleges so as of choice. This yr, 77,627 eighth graders who utilized for a spot at a metropolis highschool obtained a proposal, with 55,242 of these students– or 73% — receiving a proposal to one in every of their prime three decisions, the DOE introduced Friday. In 2020, 73% of scholars — 55,615 eighth graders — additionally obtained a proposal to a top-three selection. The DOE stated 34,343 college students, or 46% of eighth graders who utilized, obtained a proposal to their first selection, the identical price as in 2020.

The DOE highlighted the demographic modifications for colleges in Manhattan’s District 2, which covers among the wealthiest neighborhoods within the metropolis—from the Higher East Aspect to SoHo and Tribeca—and likewise consists of among the metropolis’s most sought-after public excessive colleges. Opponents have argued for years to cease utilizing selective screens and district precedence within the battle in opposition to segregation within the metropolis’s public college system. The brand new coverage is a part of Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s newest efforts to desegregate the college system, together with altering the Gifted and Proficient course of for 4-year-olds and suspending center college selective screens for this college yr.

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The elimination of District 2’s geographic screenings that prioritized native residents have resulted in main shifts in presents this yr, the DOE stated. The district nonetheless applies educational screens throughout the highschool course of.

At Eleanor Roosevelt Excessive Faculty, as an example, 62% of presents went to college students exterior of the district, together with a “important” improve of scholars from the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn — in comparison with 1% final yr. The screening change additionally elevated the variety of college students who qualify for the federal free or diminished worth lunch program (FRL), as much as 50% of all presents in comparison with 16% final yr.

At Baruch School Campus Excessive Faculty, 42% of presents went to college students exterior of the district, in comparison with 2% final yr. Provides to free lunch-eligible college students elevated to 66% this yr in comparison with 36% final yr.

Throughout all of District 2’s excessive colleges, 60% of presents went to college students eligible without spending a dime lunch this yr, in comparison with 47% final yr.

The DOE stated they may even eradicate all different geographic priorities throughout the system subsequent yr, together with borough priorities and eligibilities and zones, for eighth graders coming into highschool in 2022.