Friday, October 24, 2003

NYC High School Admissions

The New York Times covers the controversy over changes in the NYC high school admissions process, without including many details about how the process will actually work this year. The process has always been complicated; I remember telling my 8th graders how important high grades were, only to find out in the spring that grades are only somewhat important for most students, since the process is partly a lottery to ensure that high schools get a mix of students. What's interesting to me in this article is that although the process is very complicated and stressful for all students, the article takes the perspective of the best and brightest who are concerned about the best way to play the game to win a spot at a top high school. I'm sympathetic to those stuents, I really am; I remember college admissions and I can imagine what this is like. Nevertheless, there are thousands of other kids in New York whose decision-making process in choosing a high school is also complicated and risky, but who are not considering the exam schools. What's it like for them? How do the changes in the process affect their choices? How do they find out about strategies to follow to get into the high school they want?

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