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The Mayor and Chancellor are seizing on the COVID-19 crisis to remove all common objective criteria used for admissions to screened middle and high schools by reducing end-of-year grades to “Meets Standards” or “Needs Improvement.” This will hasten the decline of our schools and deprive public school families of the education they want for their children.

Many of the most successful schools in New York City use some form of academics-based admissions criteria to match the needs of students with the schools that would best serve them. Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza sent their own children to selective schools. Many NYC families depend on such schools, just like the Mayor and Chancellor did, to provide a high quality public education. Academics-based criteria ensure that the children attending the schools can handle the course work expected of them—this is vital in a city where student proficiency in reading, writing and math vary greatly.

Tearing down what works for many students won’t help anyone. With only one year left in this administration, the current push away from matching students' academic needs with the schools that could best serve them, will dilute the academic mission of the schools de Blasio inherited when he became Mayor 7 years ago. He has done nothing to improve the education our struggling students receive nor integrate schools---both of which he promised in his now dusty tome—Equity and Excellence. Where’s the Equity? Where’s the Excellence? 

Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Carranza: do the hard work of improving K-8 education by raising the quality of instruction, supporting teachers, setting higher expectations and increasing opportunities across the city. NYC public school children deserve better and want MORE academically strong schools.

Demand Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza leave academics-based admissions in place and allow districts and schools to use alternative criteria for one year to identify students starting in September 2021.

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