New York City Makes Admissions to Public Schools and Gifted Programs Fairer for Students

In the last month, the New York City public school system adopted a measure ending the use of academic screens in admissions, and ended the use of a single-test admissions process for the City’s gifted and talented programs. Both of these measures are crucial steps towards achieving the goals of “equal access to educational opportunity and racially and economically integrated public schools,” according to a City Bar report. The City Bar, through its Civil Rights Committee (Zoey Chinitz and Kevin Eli Jason, co-Chairs) and Education & the Law Committee (Jarienn A. James and Evan S. Rosenberg, co-Chairs), advocated for an end to competitive admissions to public elementary and middle schools and programs based on the conviction that tests are “more likely to reflect characteristics of a child’s parents and past experiences than his or her future potential, and are unreliable, and racially biased,” and that “separation of young children into separate classrooms is not pedagogically sound.” We applaud Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza’s decision to remove these institutional barriers to integration and opportunity for all NYC public-school students.