In NYC, the 8th-graders who didn't get into a specialized high school (there are only 8 or 9 of those schools) are supposed to get their "main-round" school match-ups this week. It was supposed to be yesterday, but because the NAACP is annoyed that a few extremely underperforming schools in terrible neighborhoods are closing (?!), everyone's letters are delayed. I don't get the big rally for keeping schools open where kids don't learn. I don't care if it's the only school in your neighborhood. If it's a bad school, you should be doing whatever you can to find something better. It's your job as a parent. I think it's heartless to make the entire city's 8th-grade kids (and their parents) wait any longer to know what high school they'll be going to.
Thankfully, J got her results in the specialized round, but all her friends are so anxious. Most of them put Frank Sinatra School of the Arts as the main-round first choice, then other performing arts schools like PPAS & Talent Unlimited. Then they put some good academic schools like Bard Early College, Townsend Harris, Academy of American Studies, and Cardozo. You may list the top 12 high schools you'd like to attend - most children only list 5-7, though - and you get matched to only one of them. K didn't try for any specialized schools when she was in 8th grade, and her main-round sheet listed only her 3 top choices. She got into her first-choice pick - but the wait was still nerve-wracking. Out of the 400 high schools in NYC, only about 30 are worth going to. So you can understand the anxiety for both the kids and the parents.
Many of J's friends took the test to get into the good Catholic High Schools. There, you list your top 3 choices and you can get accepted to all of them and choose which one you'll attend. The thing about Catholic schools is that they send their results in February and you have about 2 weeks to make a choice and then send them a (non-refundable) $600 payment to hold your spot - this, if you notice, is a whole month before your public school results arrive. Sneaky, isn't it. A good number of J's friends' parents paid the $600 - just to ensure their kids have a seat in a good school - but have no problem losing that money if they're happier with the main-round public school result. This is another reason for all the anger and anxiety over the delayed main-round letters.
It's crazy in NYC. I love that we have so much school choice. The process is nutty, but usually worth it in the end. Hopefully this other nonsense will end soon and these kids will finally know where they're going to high school.