An Improvement to the Mayor’s Current Proposal

The mayor recently recommended a new specialized high school admissions procedure. Instead of a single exam, he’d like to identify the top 25% of NYC 8th grade students based on state score. Then from that group, make specialized high school offers to the top 7% of students from every school.

A critic of the mayor’s reform plan is that the plan may make offers to students who are not proficient in either math or English. This is due to the fact that even when we sort NYC students by grade, the top 25% has students who haven’t earned proficient scores.

Considering specialized high schools are accelerated, I believe it does make sense to only make offers to proficient students. Plus doing so only affects 10% of specialized high school offers.

My proposed changes to the mayor’s proposal…

  1. Sort all middle schools by ENI ( highest to lowest Economic Need Index )
  2. Select all students who’ve earned 7th Grade proficiency in State exams. Allow schools to nominate alternates for special circumstances.
  3. Give offers to the top 1% of students in order of ENI
  4. Then give offers to the top 2% of students in order of ENI
  5. Then give offers to the top 3% of students in order of ENI
  6. Continue doing so until no seats are left

This isn’t my ideal plan, but I think it’s a compromise that does fix a valid criticism of the current specialized high school admissions reform bill.