The Future of Geographic Screens for NYC’s High Schools is Up in the Air Amid Concerns over Diversity, Commutes

The latest report from the Feerick Center for Social Justice, titled The Next Step: Prioritizing Equity and Recovery in NYC High School Admissions, was highlighted in an article in Chalkbeat. Dora Galacatos ’96, executive director of the Feerick Center, and Karuna Patel, deputy director of the Feerick Center, were also quoted in the article discussing the role geographic screens play when it comes to student diversity across New York City schools.

New York City’s high school system rests on a patchwork of choice and exclusivity.

Thousands of students criss-cross the five boroughs each day on subways, buses, and ferries to get to schools that admit students from anywhere in the city.

Other high schools give priority to teens based on their home address — a system, many advocates believe, that has made it harder to integrate what is one of the nation’s most segregated school districts.

Dora Galacatos is the executive director of the Fordham Law School Feerick Center for Social Justice, which recently released a report calling for a number of reforms to make the admissions process more fair. She said that preserving geographic priorities would be “a tragic misstep” that keeps schools closed to some students.

“Even if you’re a good fit for that school, you’re not going to get in,” she said. ”Because there are going to be so many other people ahead of you… because of where they live.”

Either way, last-minute changes to the application process don’t help when it comes to trying to integrate schools, since information is often key to making sense of the system, said Karuna Patel, deputy director of the Feerick Center.

“It takes a lot of work, a lot of research for families to do this,” she said. “So it really throws a wrench into the time spent on the process for students and families to have these yo-yoing policies.”


Comments are closed.