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June 5, 2019
‘It’s OK to not be OK’: How one high school saved lives with a 34-question survey
Leaders in a southern Colorado school district rolled out an online mental health screening to help high-school students in crisis.
The big sort
July 18, 2018
Do selective admissions actually help middle schools choose the best students? This Manhattan dad says no.
Eric Goldberg wants to change the debate around whether public schools should be allowed to select their students based on test scores, report…
here's the plan
June 20, 2018
Brooklyn middle schools may eliminate academic ‘screening’ in effort to integrate
In a Brooklyn district where middle schools are sharply divided by race and class, a radical recommendation to spur integration has emerged: eliminating…
sorting the students
May 30, 2018
Carranza didn’t expect ‘screening’ comments to create such an uproar
“I didn’t know it was going to be such a big deal.”
5 step plan
May 24, 2018
If Carranza wants to take on screening in New York City, here are 5 things he could do
The chancellor could eliminate District 2 priority, change specialized high school admissions, or reduce the share of screened schools.
sorting the students
May 23, 2018
‘Why are we screening children? I don’t get that’: Chancellor Carranza offers harsh critique of NYC school admissions
New York City’s schools chief expressed a fundamental critique of the school system on Wednesday, arguing that sorting students by ability is “antithetical” to public education.
November 9, 2017
Parents at a selective middle school fear an influx of ‘unscreened’ students
A proposal to close a struggling middle school could have ripple effects on its neighbor: A diverse, high-performing school in the same building.
You Asked We Answered
Updated November 6, 2017
Why do some New York City schools get to choose their students? Here’s the case for and against ‘screening.’
In response to reader questions, we explore why some New York City schools screen their applicants and what are some proposed alternatives to the current system.
barriers to entry
December 19, 2016
Great divide: How extreme academic segregation isolates students in New York City’s high schools
Over half the students who took and passed the eighth-grade state math or English exam in 2015 wound up concentrated in less than 8 percent of city high schools.
barriers to entry
November 3, 2016
How can New York City fix its high school admissions system? Experts weigh in
Several panels of experts, put together by the Feerick Center for Social Justice, gathered Tuesday to talk about what can be done to fix high school admissions.
sorting the students
July 13, 2016
Brooklyn’s middle schools are highly segregated — but they don’t have to be. How a series of choices has deepened the divide
Stark segregation — by race, class, and ability — undercuts the promise of a Brooklyn district’s choice-based enrollment system.
July 13, 2015
Evaluation delays leave some students with disabilities waiting for help
The city is hiring more staffers to screen students for disabilities, and upgrading a data system to track its compliance with the state's 60-day screening timeline.
October 23, 2013
Test score drops mean uncertainty in screened H.S. admissions
Ananda Kimm-Drapeau, who hopes to attend Stuyvesant High School, is also considering several schools that will weigh her state test scores in admission. The city has instructed schools to screen students with lower scores this year because the state tests were harder to pass, but the process remains uncertain for families and schools alike. (Photo: Oliver Morrison) For eighth-grade students looking to attend a screened high school, the opaque admissions process has gained another layer of complexity — their own state test scores, often lower than they had been in the past. The city has been assuring parents and students that they won't be penalized for the drop in state test scores following the rollout of tougher, Common Core-aligned exams. If a school previously looked for students at a level 3 (out of 4) or above, for example, the city has said the school should look for students who scored at least a 2.25. For schools that tried to limit admissions to students with a 2 or higher, the city is suggesting using a 1.8 benchmark this year. Those equivalencies are meant to assure parents and students that this year's system won't work much differently than last year's. But that leaves two open questions: Will students apply to different schools than they would have because they are nervous about their scores? And will schools will actually look at students who fall closer the bottom of their test score range? "These kids, they were previously 4s and 3s, and now they're 1s and 2s. And they're really stressed about it," said Quincee Robinson, who oversees admissions at Bard High School Early College Manhattan, which screens for levels 3 and 4. "They're worried they're not eligible to apply to our school."
May 19, 2011
Despite state law, Bronx charter school tests students for entry
The Academic Leadership Charter School, founded in 2009, is housed inside Mother Hale Academy, a district school in the South Bronx. A South Bronx charter school is screening children for admission based on their performance on academic tests, according to parents and several current and former employees of Academic Leadership Charter School. As a charter school, Academic Leadership is required by New York state law to admit students through a random lottery. But multiple parents and staff members described a process designed by the school's director to weed out low-performing students. Four parents who tried to enroll their children at Academic Leadership, an elementary school, this year or last year said that school employees tested their children before deciding whether or not to accept them. "They took my son to a class to watch him in the class and see if everything was okay. He was in the class an hour," said Khalilur Munshi, describing his experience with the school this winter. Dissatisfied with his neighborhood school, Munshi had taken his son, a second-grader, to Academic Leadership to try to enroll him in the middle of the school year. An employee told him that the second grade had open slots and no waiting list, and then his son was taken to sit in on the class, Munshi said. When his son returned, a staff member told Munshi that there actually was a waiting list and that school officials would let him know if a spot opened up. "I could tell they weren't going to take my son," he said. After the visit, he called the school three times to check on the status of the waiting list and never heard back. Several former and current school employees said that the school's director and founder, Norma Figueroa-Hurwitz, a long-time New York City educator, orders teachers to test applicants in order to admit the most advanced students. The employees all asked to remain anonymous out of concern that speaking on the record would jeopardize their careers in education. Reached by phone, Figueroa-Hurwitz denied that students were tested before they were admitted and declined to answer further questions. The same day, her husband and the school's co-founder, Ted Hurwitz, called GothamSchools to respond on Figueroa-Hurwitz's behalf. He said that the school tests students only after they have been admitted through the lottery for the purpose of "placement." Asked why parents would say otherwise, he said, "I don’t know why. I don’t understand that. We do anything and everything we can. We might do that to get a head start, but I can’t understand that personally." Hurwitz said that he now spends one day a week at the school.
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