In a push that is alarming parents, the Bloomberg administration plans to stop guaranteeing eighth-graders a spot in the city’s remaining neighborhood high schools.
“It’s ridiculous to think that children are not able to go to their zoned school automatically,” said Kim Alvarez, who wants the option of sending her daughter Amber, 11, to the local school, Long Island City High School.
"The thought that she could end up in Brooklyn or Staten Island or wherever they put her is a little alarming."
The city still guarantees students a spot in high school — just not nearby.
The admissions change, which could affect five schools by next year, will allow “zoned” high schools to offer priority rather than a guarantee to local kids.
In the longer term, the rule could have a significant impact in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Thousands of city high school students still attend one of the 28 neighborhood high schools.
Next fall, Lehman High School in the Bronx and Flushing and Newtown High Schools in Queens, which are cutting enrollment, will no longer guarantee admission, officials said.
At Long Island City and Martin Van Buren High Schools in Queens, the city has proposed adding new schools to the building — wiping out sufficient space to guarantee admissions to local kids, according to documents posted on the agency website. A vote is scheduled for the same Oct. 30 Panel for Educational Policy meeting where the rule change will be decided.
“Across the city, we want to create new high-performing options in areas where we see low demand, be it for a zoned school or otherwise,” said schools spokesman Devon Puglia.
The process of applying to high school is stressful for parents and students — and the rule change will only make it more so, admissions experts said.
"I would be worried if I were a parent that I might be closed out of the school," said Pamela Wheaton, of InsideSchools.org at the New School. "A good zoned school offers something for everybody — for low achievers, for special needs, for high achievers."
Clearly the move here is to stop guaranteeing admissions in zoned high schools so that they can shove more small schools and charter schools into these zoned school spaces.
The Bloomberg administration only has 100 days left in its Reign of Error, but they plan on doing as much damage as they can before they head out the door.
The idea is to disrupt and dislocate as much as possible so what existed before the Bloomberg administration took over cannot be reconstructed once it is gone.