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City announces major changes to school admissions

Posted at 6:01 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 18:01:34-05

NEW YORK CITY — The city said Friday it's making major changes to the way school admissions are handled in New York City.

As a part of the changes, middle schools will not screen students based on grades or test scores, at least for one year.

Plus, the city's most coveted high schools will be permanently barred from prioritizing students who live in the neighborhood. That geographic priority will be phased out over the next two years.

However, these students may still be judged on their merits for high schools that use screening protocols.

The city will also expand diversity planning to all 32 districts over the next four years and open up grant application to five more districts this year.

The changes will go into effect for the 2021-2022 school year.

One of the driving forces behind these admission policies was the group Teens Take Charge, and they’re saying these changes did not go far enough to rid schools of the cast system that's in place.

Karma Selsey has been fighting for educational equality for years and said the fact that it’s taken so many deaths and so much tragedy from the pandemic to get a fraction of what people have been asking for is incredibly frustrating.

She is a part of Teens Take Charge, which filed a Title VI complaint of the Civil Rights Act last month against the Department of Education, saying it's unjust for school policies to be discriminatory toward any group of students.

An integration policy was written by the school diversity advisory group which was convened by the mayor. Their work states that the use of exclusionary admissions policies is unacceptable and the city shouldn’t be funding resources to exclude kids.

Advocates said the city is starting desegregation, but has a long way to go to show inclusion.

For now, the SHSAT will continue. Registration begins Monday, Dec. 21.

The application for middle schools will open on Jan. 11 and close the week of Feb. 8.

High school applications will open Jan. 18 and close the week of Feb. 22.

Registration for the specialized high school exam will open Dec. 21 and close Jan. 15.