A better middle school admissions process?

A better middle school admissions process?

As past, present and soon-to-be 5th graders and their parents know, the current “middle school choice” admissions process for District 15 (and more broadly in NYC) can be stressful, frustrating, and feel unfair. Around this time of year, I often hear from parents that the process is confusing, demoralizing, too heavily based on screening, and amplifies the problems of segregation.

Before we start the process again next year, we wanted to work together with some of our partners to have a community conversation about the issue, and what changes you believe are necessary.

That’s why next week, together with Council Members Menchaca and Levin, the D15 Community Education Council, and D15 Superintendent Anita Skop, I’m hosting a panel discussion and public forum on reimagining the middle school choice process:

Reimagining the Middle School Admissions Process in District 15Wednesday, May 27th, 6:30 – 8:30pmJohn Jay Campus auditorium, 237 7th Avenue, Park Slope

This will not be a “how-to” session about the application process – but rather a community conversation and panel about what changes parents, educators, and students believe are needed to the process itself.

Attendees will hear about the current process, as well as work that District 15 Superintendent Anita Skop and district principals are undertaking to improve it. We’ll hear from “Parents for Middle School Equity” about parent goals and values from a survey of parents they conducted this year. We will discuss a wider range of approaches that might help students achieve a good fit while still taking into account things like geographic preferences, school diversity, curriculum/program interest, student achievement, and student equity. And of course, we’ll be eager to hear everyone’s feedback, ideas, questions, and comments. 

I hope you will join us for this important discussion.


P.S. Meanwhile at City Hall, I’m continuing to push for better funding and job quality for crossing guards. Our goal is to increase the number of crossing guards citywide by 10% and ensure that these valuable and essential public servants are treated with the respect they deserve.

Council Member Vanessa Gibson, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, DC 37, Local 372 and I are hosting a rally along with several other council members and street safety advocates next week to call on the Administration to fund the number of crossing guards we need. The Council’s budget response requested a much need 10% increase, and so far the Mayor’s budget has not met this request. We need your help to let Mayor de Blasio know that this is an important issue for parents everywhere.

Join us on Tuesday, May 26 at Noon on the steps of City Hall for the rally.  You can RSVP to lander [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov or 212-788-6969 if you’d like to attend. 

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