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NYC Department of Education – taking pride in failure

March 26, 2009 pm31 3:09 pm

The DoE announced yesterday that they failed to match over 7,000 children, almost one in ten, with one of their top 12 high school choices. That’s twelve, boys and girls. Can’t set the bar much lower than that.

In addition, another 15% got matched to a school out of their top 3 choices. You know, in parts of Manhattan that might not sound so bad, but, recall, the Bronx is part of New York, too.

New year, same crud. The Department of Education is utterly incapable of managing anything well. But don’t think this is pure incompetence. There’s always some malevolence lurking, even if it’s not immediately obvious.  In this case: “zoned schools.”

Most children in New York no longer have a default neighborhood option. That stinks for neighborhoods, stinks for parents and kids. It matters less in the parts of Manhattan where good small high school options were created. It stinks in the Bronx where Nadelstern set up ridiculously-themed, mis-managed, unscrutinized mini-schools and destroyed almost all the big schools. (Same goes for parts of Brooklyn).

A kid should have a few “special” choices, but the default school should be a good one. Instead, the DoE destroyed the default, took it away, and 10% of freshmen will essentially be randomly placed in the sort of high school that still has open seats.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. pbpcbs permalink
    March 27, 2009 am31 12:37 am 12:37 am

    And the twist of the knife is most of the specialized schools have to take a certain percentage of their students “over the counter”…thus the assigned students have NO stake and often NO interest in the “focus” of the school. That means some meaningful percentage of the students in every classroom aren’t there because the school focus motivates them, instead they have no stake in the game and no interest in the game’s success. So, the first 4 years this is hidden by the fact that schools are measured based on throughput, but eventually the uninterested students destroy the situation for the interested students. (It also seemed that many of the over the counter students were in need of special services, and most of the small high schools don’t bother to budget appropriate special services. Since many IEPs, 504s, etc., get closed out upon graduation from middle school, these students lose 3 ways.


  1. Remainders: High school match day, the morning after | GothamSchools

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