“These kids – our kids – need a fair chance to get into our best high schools. Regrettably, this new process does not give them that chance.”
Philadelphia School District has changed its admissions policy in the name of diversity and equity. They lowered standards, did away with a standardized test, and discounted the importance of good grades.
They say this is for equity, but many students who worked hard, studied and got better grades are being left in the cold. Many parents are understandably upset.
CBS News in Philadelphia reports:
‘What Do I Do?’ Families Unhappy With Philadelphia School District’s Lottery Process Ahead Of Deadline
Time is dwindling down, with just one more day until students in the Philadelphia School District lottery must accept one of their waitlist offers. If not, that spot will go to another student.
The lottery is part of the district’s new admission policy for specialty schools, and a lot of families are unhappy with the process.
Families told CBS3 they are in favor of the plan to diversify these specialty schools, but they said the district is overlooking the hard work that got them into the lottery in the first place…
At the start of February, the Philadelphia School District delivered the news to thousands of families whether or not their child was placed at some of the most elite schools in the district.
It’s an initiative officials says they are hoping will provide more diversity at these specialty schools, giving priority placement to students who live in economically-challenged neighborhoods.
“It’s bittersweet he did get placed,” Tanya Folk said.
Tanya Folk held back tears instead of breathing a sigh of relief after her son Christopher was placed in his first choice, Carver High School of Engineering and Science.
Some parents are even asking for a redo.
Chalkbeat Philadelphia reports:
New Philly high school admissions process, meant to increase equity, leads to pleas for a redo
At 5 p.m. last Friday, thousands of Philadelphia eighth graders learned whether they were admitted to one of the city’s most selective high schools.
It’s an annual ritual, but this year, with a major difference: In October the district overhauled the process by putting the names of all qualifying students into a lottery instead of letting individual school leaders shape their incoming classes.
Now, several parent groups are asking for a redo, saying the new system – meant to remove bias in admissions decisions and increase diversity at the city’s most elite public schools – has unfairly left some high-achieving students wait-listed at all their choices and without any offers of admission. Each student could list up to five schools on their application.
This is so unfair to so many kids.
“I’m happy for other children to be given opportunities they were never given before,” said one parent who asked to remain anonymous and whose daughter – a straight-A student with a long list of middle school extracurriculars – was wait-listed at all of the five schools to which she applied. “But this is coming at the cost of other children.”
Saida Nhari said her daughter, an eighth grader at Masterman, did not get into either of her top choices, Central or Masterman.
“My daughter stressed herself out to get straight As and got up in the early morning to get to school on time,” said Nhari. “All that effort was in hopes to get into the high school. But two weeks before the applications opened, they decided to change everything.”
An opinion columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer named Sozi Pedro Tulante writes:
Philly’s elite high schools have an equity problem. A controversial new admissions policy makes it worse.
On Jan. 28, thousands of parents across the city learned which Philadelphia public high school their children will be attending this fall under the new selection criteria for special admissions programs.
Like many Philadelphians, I have been following the School District’s hastily arranged admissions policy with concern. I have a personal and professional interest in the district: My three children are in a district school and I am a proud alum of six district schools, where, more than three decades ago, I learned English after coming here from the Congo. I also spearheaded the complicated legal effort in 2017 that ended the reign of the state-run School Reform Commission and reinstated the current Philadelphia Board of Education…
We need to get this right. The old system was flawed and ceded too much unbridled discretion to the principals and the band of parents who helped them wield that authority, locking out kids from the same underserved neighborhoods that I come from.
These kids – our kids – need a fair chance to get into our best high schools. Regrettably, this new process does not give them that chance.
Progressive school board members and other education leaders are ignoring the wave of parental concern while charging ahead with their plans.
We need an education revolution in America.
Featured image via YouTube.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.