NYC parents frustrated with DOE lottery rules change
In another admissions woe, the city’s Department of Education backed out of a promise to give new lottery numbers to students on some high school waiting lists, frustrating their hopes of getting in. .
“They completely changed the rules in the middle of the game,” angry mom Deborah Roberts told The Post.
The DOE first assured parents that children on waiting lists would receive new “random numbers” that could improve their chances. The numbers determine the order in which students are selected.
“For waitlists, each applicant receives a new random number for each waitlist they are on,” the DOE’s website said.
But the families found they were stuck with the same lottery numbers that previously gave low odds, and the DOE finally acknowledged it.
Matthew Broggini, executive director of college and high school admissions for the DOE, told Roberts in an email last week, “We’ve updated our website to provide more clarity on how waitlists work. .”
The revised website says students who want to enter “screened” schools, which group children into lottery pools based on their GPA, keep the same random number. Only those who applied to “open” schools with no admission criteria would get a new number.
Selected schools include the popular Townsend Harris, Eleanor Roosevelt, Millennium, and Academy of American Studies, among others.
Many parents in the “Applying to High School in NYC” Facebook group have been crushed to find that their children – already barred from desired schools – have the same “wrong” lottery number.
Roberts cried foul at the late clarification. “If the Chancellor [David] Banks wants to partner and engage with parents, so the DOE should have been, and needs to be, clear and transparent in its policies from the beginning of the process,” she emailed Broggini.
About 3,700 teens, including some with straight Aces, did not receive offers in June from any of the schools they applied to — up to 12 in order of preference — and ended up on waiting lists . Others were put on waiting lists for schools they ranked higher.
Lottery numbers are the key to admissions. Every eighth-grader who applied for high school for 2022-23 received a long string of mixed numbers from 0 to 9 and lowercase letters from a to f. “Random numbers” starting with 0-3 were most likely to land students in a school at or near the top of their list. Those starting with higher numbers and letters were the least favorable.