NY Appleseed joined members of the Fordham Law Feerick Center’s High School Application Advisory Council to publish The Next Step: Prioritizing Equity and Recovery in NYC High School Admissions (The Next Step) – a report that provides guidance for prioritizing equity in the NYC school admissions process and putting an end to exclusionary high school screening methods. This gatekeeping tool must be addressed as we recover from a year and a half of interrupted schooling, recognizing that our high school admission system cannot go back to operating the way it did two years ago. The Next Step provides a policy roadmap for immediate reforms and long-term solutions that lead to an equitable and integrated future. Specifically, we call for:
- permanently eliminating middle-school screens
- requiring that high schools “opt-in” to screening (making unscreened schools the default) and mandating equitable admissions priorities
- significantly enhancing supports for students and families, with dedicated funding for the admissions process
This publication follows last year’s report, Public Schools Public Oversight: Principles and Policy Recommendations During COVID-19 and Beyond, in which we called on the DOE to assume oversight and control over the admissions processes, which has not been a transparent procedure. We applaud the Mayor’s and NYCDOE’s decisions to adopt so many of our recommendations, in addition to pausing middle school screens last year – leading to more equitable admissions outcomes for this year’s incoming class.
As we wait for news about the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, read our recommendations to implement desegregative reforms urgently needed for middle and high school admissions here. These next steps build upon decades of advocacy that will lead us towards a school system that is just, equitable and integrated for all.