In another admissions snafu, the city Department of Education has walked back a promise to give new lottery numbers to students on certain high school waiting lists — frustrating their hopes of getting in.
“They’ve completely changed the rules in the middle of the game,” angry mom Deborah Roberts told The Post.
The DOE first assured parents that kids on waiting lists would get new “random numbers” that might 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 website stated.
But families found they are stuck with the same lottery numbers that gave low odds before, and the DOE finally acknowledged it.
Matthew Broggini, the DOE’s executive director of middle school and high-school admissions, told Roberts in an email last week, “We have updated our website to provide more clarity on how waitlists work.”
The revised website says students seeking entry to “screened” schools, which lump kids in lottery groups based on their GPA, keep the same random number. Only those applying to “open” schools without admission criteria would get a new number.
The screened schools include popular Townsend Harris, Eleanor Roosevelt, Millennium, and Academy of American Studies, among others.
Many parents in the Facebook group “Applying to High School in NYC” were crushed to discover that their kids — already shut out of desired schools — have the same “bad” lottery number.
Roberts cried foul at the late clarification. “If Chancellor [David] Banks wants to partner and engage with parents, then the DOE should have been, and needs to be, clear and transparent in its policies from the beginning of the process,” she emailed Broggini.
Roughly 3,700 teens, including some with straight As, didn’t get offers in June from any of the schools they applied to — up to 12 in order of preference — and landed on waiting lists. Others were put on waitlists for schools they ranked higher.
Lottery numbers are key to admissions. Each eighth-grader who applied for high school for the 2022-23 received a long string of mixed numbers from 0 to 9 and lower-case letters from a to f. The “random numbers” starting with 0 to 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 least favorable.