It’s September, and the grueling high school admissions process is about to begin!
I don’t know how we survived last year going through this demanding process for our son! There was no transparency to the admissions process and no clear-cut criteria that defined how students would be matched to the public high schools! To add to our woes, stories about children without placements despite having done well in school and in state tests, were making the rounds! To top that, all the jargon around “screened”, “unscreened”, “lottery schools” and the different admissions requirement including interview, tests, portfolios etc., had us worried that we would be one of those “stories”!
We did everything we thought we needed to do – from attending the city-wide school fairs and individual school tours to poring over the gargantuan 600 page high school directory! Not once were we able to stop to think which high school(s) was a good fit as we felt rushed through the process.
It was only in spring of this year, after my child managed to place in three top schools (one NYC G&T public school and two specialized high schools), did we get a chance to pause and look at how these schools compared and which of them would provide the most value after a 4 year HS education there. I decided to use quantitative methods for this comparison and used data published by the Department of Education to see how the top schools fared. My entry and exit criteria were based on State test, Regents and SAT scores. I am posting a snapshot of both the “entrance criteria” and “exit stats” of some of the district 2 high schools that our children attend. Am hoping that you will find these useful.
ENTRANCE CRITERIA: The first set of tables shows you the selection criteria used by schools to evaluate and rank students from the available pool of applicants.
SCREENED SCHOOLS(*Screened schools consider attendance + punctuality)
|wdt_ID||Name||interest||Admissions Method - Screened*||English||Math||Social Studies||Science||State Test Math||State Test ELA||Inside Schools link||Total # of Seats||Total # of applicants||Applicants per seat|
|1||BARD HIGH SCHOOL EARLY COLLEGE QUEENS||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||MATH & ELA on site assessment + Interview||85-100||85-100||85-100||85-100||https://insideschools.org/school/24Q299||160||2.537||16 per seat|
|2||BARUCH COLLEGE CAMPUS HIGH SCHOOL||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||Writing Sample||85-100||85-100||85-100||85-100||Review||Review||https://insideschools.org/school/02M411||111||5.182||47 per seat|
|3||BEACON HIGH SCHOOL*||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||Interview and Portfolio||85-100||85-100||85-100||85-100||3.0-4.5||3.0-4.5||https://insideschools.org/school/03M479||320||5.255||16 per seat|
|4||ELEANOR ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||90-100||90-100||90-100||90-100||3.0-4.5||3.0-4.5||https://insideschools.org/school/02M416||125||5.376||43 per seat|
|5||HIGH SCHOOL FOR DUAL LANGUAGE AND ASIAN STUDIES||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||80-100||80-100||80-100||80-100||2.0-4.5||2.0-4.5||https://insideschools.org/school/02M545||108||1.045||10 per seat|
|6||INSTITUTE FOR COLLABORATIVE EDUCATION||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||Interview + Writing Sample||80-100||80-100||80-100||80-100||https://insideschools.org/school/02M407||54||1.168||22 per seat|
|7||MANHATTAN VILLAGE ACADEMY||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||Demonstrated interest: school visit||80-100||80-100||80-100||80-100||2.0-4.5||2.0-4.5||https://insideschools.org/school/02M439||100||3.282||33 per seat|
|8||MANHATTAN/HUNTER SCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL||Science & Math||80-100||80-100||80-100||80-100||Review||Review||https://insideschools.org/school/03M541||108||4.408||41 per seat|
|9||MILLENNIUM HIGH SCHOOL||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||Foreign language grade + Writing exercise||90-100||90-100||90-100||90-100||https://insideschools.org/school/02M418||150||4.323||29 per seat|
|10||NEW EXPLORATIONS INTO SCIENCE,TECH AND MATH HIGH SCHOOL||Science & Math||On site test||85-100||85-100||85-100||85-100||3.0-4.5||3.0-4.5||https://insideschools.org/school/01M539||160||2.995||19 per seat|
|wdt_ID||Name||Program||interest||Admissions Method - Unscreened||Inside Schools link||Total # of Seats||Total # of applicants||Applicants per seat|
|1||ACADEMY FOR SOFTWARE ENGINEERING||Computer Science & Technology||Demonstrated interest: school visit||https://insideschools.org/school/02M546||108||2.403||22 per seat|
|2||HARVEST COLLEGIATE HIGH SCHOOL||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||https://insideschools.org/school/02M534||108||2.139||20 per seat|
|3||HARBOR SCHOOL||Science & Math||https://insideschools.org/school/02M551||54||New Program|
|4||PACE HIGH SCHOOL||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||Demonstrated interest: school visit||https://insideschools.org/school/02M298||150||4.614||31 per seat|
|5||URBAN ASSEMBLY MAKER ACADEMY||Computer Science & Technology||Demonstrated interest: school visit||https://insideschools.org/school/02M260||108||437||4 per seat|
|wdt_ID||Name||Program||interest||Admissions Method -SHSAT||English||Math||Social Studies||Science||State Test Math||State Test ELA||Inside Schools link||Total # of Seats||Total # of applicants||Applicants per seat|
|1||BRONX HIGH SCHOOL OF SCIENCE||Specialized||Science & Math||Solely based on SHSAT scores||https://insideschools.org/school/10X445||750||19.556||26 per seat|
|2||BROOKLYN LATIN SCHOOL (THE)||Specialized||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||Solely based on SHSAT scores||https://insideschools.org/school/14K449||150||16.723||111 per seat|
|3||BROOKLYN TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL||Specialized||Science & Math||Solely based on SHSAT scores||https://insideschools.org/school/13K430||1.400||23.100||17 per seat|
|4||HIGH SCHOOL MATH SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING AT CCNY||Specialized||Engineering||Solely based on SHSAT scores||https://insideschools.org/school/05M692||110||19.035||173 per seat|
|5||HIGH SCHOOL OF AMERICAN STUDIES AT LEHMAN COLLEGE||Specialized||Humanities & Interdisciplinary||Solely based on SHSAT scores||https://insideschools.org/school/10X696||90||16.771||186 per seat|
|6||QUEENS HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE SCIENCES AT YORK COLLEGE||Specialized||Science & Math||Solely based on SHSAT scores||https://insideschools.org/school/28Q687||104||16.648||160 per seat|
|7||STATEN ISLAND TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL||Specialized||Engineering||Solely based on SHSAT scores||https://insideschools.org/school/31R605||300||15.209||51 per seat|
|8||STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL||Specialized||Science & Math||Solely based on SHSAT scores||https://insideschools.org/school/02M475||814||22.662||28 per seat|
|9||FH LAGUARDIA HIGH SCHOOL OF MUSIC, ART AND PERFORMING ARTS||Specialized - Audition||Performing Arts||Audition + Attendance||80-100||80-100||80-100||80-100||Review||Review||https://insideschools.org/school/03M485||181||3.254||18 per seat|
The below table gives you a snapshot of how the students performed in state and competitive tests(SATs).
(*Students complete Performance‑Based Assessment Tasks (PBATs) as a replacement for some Regents Exams)
My recommendation is for parents to review BOTH the entry and exit criteria even BEFORE you start sifting through a dizzying array of public, private, parochial and specialized schools and going on school tours and open houses. This would at a minimum offer an objective view of a the school in determining if it is potentially a good fit for your child. A word of caution – some schools like Beacon opt out of the Regents, and school alone is not always responsible for SAT scores as many students go through extensive test prep outside school before taking the SATs. Therefore please use stats on test scores as only one criteria by which you evaluate a school.
Things you should plan on doing:
Visit the school, talk to school admissions office if you think your child thrives in a particular environment, get the opinion of (as many) neighborhood families attending the school as possible, consider if you want a small school, focus on Humanities or Science/Math, review sites like Inside Schools, Great Schools, Niche Schools and make an informed decision.
And most of you may agree that in our adult career, over 90% of the time we use the skills learnt in high school – “Make that high school count”….
Please feel free to comment below or send me a note, especially if there are other school you would like me to add to the above list.