NEW YORK – Council Member Brad Lander welcomed the announcement today of the suspension of middle school admissions screens and high school district priority. 

“This is a huge and important step towards fairness and integration in our schools, and fundamentally necessary this year to mitigate the inequalities of pandemic school,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “All too often admissions screens measure access to resources far more than ability, furthering segregation and inequality in our public schools. This year, using old test scores, grades and meaningless attendance data to sort 4th graders into schools makes no sense. I’m very glad the DOE is taking this opportunity to pursue a fairer admissions process for this generation of students. We still have lots of work to do to close the gaps in educational opportunity and advance integration, but suspending middle school screens and reducing geographic priority for high schools are helpful steps in that direction amidst the disruption of this pandemic year.”

In May, Lander called for suspension of screens for middle school admissions during the pandemic, urging the city to follow the model of District 15 by eliminating screens in favor of a more equitable weighted lottery system that would further integration. Ten city council colleagues joined Lander in sponsoring a resolution calling for suspension of middle school screens during the pandemic.