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High school admissions: Enough about the middle class already

Today’s Times story on Clara Hemphill is a cute and concise portrait of the challenges the city’s complicated high school admissions process pose to middle class parents. But a reader who is going through the process right now writes in with a complaint: Essentially, tell me something I don’t know.

We know the application process makes middle class parents’ hair turn gray, she writes. But the point of centralization was not to please middle class parents. It was to make the process of finding a high school fairer for all the city’s students. The real question the reader would like reporters to ask is, has the new structure done that?

She says there are signs of bumps — the sort that would make the system tough for a poor parent to navigate. She writes:

Plus, the real story that is not getting out there is how little time the high schools have to handle the high school admissions process and the kids they already have.
Some schools simply don’t have time to read all the essays and tests and conduct the interviews. One school I called to find out if my son would get an get an interview said: “We didn’t have time to grade the third round of tests, we are really behind, so we don’t know what is going to happen.’’

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