State Senator John C. Liu publicly called on city Schools Chancellor David C. Banks Monday to fix the city’s high school admissions process.
Liu called for the abandonment of the current lottery-based application system which was implemented during the pandemic and return to the process that favors academic achievement, performance and diligence.
Many NYC families have previously criticized the lottery system which saw students apply for their top 12 school choices, after many students failed to get into any of their choice schools.
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no reason to continue the admissions lottery, especially given the resounding failure of last cycle’s random admissions process,” said Senator Liu in his letter Sept. 26. “Overwhelmingly, families demand that the NYC DOE retire lottery admissions as a relic of the pandemic and reinstate an admissions system that values diligence and achievement. Equity and excellence do not have to be mutually exclusive.”
The senator reminded Chancellor Banks of his previous desires to improve the admissions process.
“In March 2022, in the face of anger and outrage from families, you expressed the need to change the high school admissions, even going so far as to extend the application deadline so you could consider fixing this broken process,” said Liu. “Ultimately, you kept the lottery, noting that it was a system you inherited and that you were up against a ‘tight timeline.’ Six months later, DOE has had ample time to formulate real changes to improve this system for all and allow for students to pursue admissions to high school using clearly established criteria.”
Additionally, Senator Liu stated in his letter that the current admissions process was further marginalizing the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, with 70% of students securing one of their top five high school picks.
A NYC Department of Education (DOE) told amNew York that the department had been reviewing the admissions process for some time and were reviewing Senator Liu’s letter.
“After engaging and working with parents and stakeholders, we will be providing an update on admissions this week,” a DOE spokesperson told amNew York.
Last updated 9/27/2022 4:30 pm