Liz Willen, the Brooklyn mom and kick-ass education writer who has been chronicling her son’s high school admissions process at InsideSchools, has a vivid description today of the apparently wretched post-selection aftermath:
…but if you think parents are mystified and anxious this week, just check in on Facebook posts. If you don’t have your own Facebook to compare notes with other parents, ask your child to share — if they are willing. You will see status updates about tears and depression, along with posts expressing anger, happiness and disgust about having to wait until late March for a “match.” The Facebook friends are offering one another words of comfort, like “everything happens for a reason,” or “Not everyone likes Stuyvesant anyway.”
There are discussions of how the wrong kids get in, along with notes and advice comparing the different schools and lots of the standard: “You rock dude!” and “congrats, ur awesome!”
She raises a lot of questions, from how in the world the most selective schools (Beacon, Bard, Townsend Harris) pick their students to whether New York City’s ambitious, subway-savvy families would be happy with the Leave it to Beaver neighborhood high school alternative.
There’s also the question of whether selective high schools meet Chancellor Joel Klein’s equity goals. Seth Andrew, the charter school principal in Harlem, calls what the selective schools do “creaming.”