With the pre-K dust still swirling and hundreds of middle-school families still waiting for official word on where their children have been placed, the citywide admissions process obviously needs rethinking. Politicos like Betsy Gotbaum, Bill deBlasio, Brookyn borough president Marty Markowitz and others are challenging the DOE to review, and redo, applications as needed. (DeBlasio, a public-school parent, is also waiting for middle-school news for his own child.)
The difficulties are undeniable, and the cures uncertain. But while the DOE says they'll work to clarify whatever confused parents this year ahead of next year's applications, they don't (yet) explain how they will address and amend this year's problems. It's increasingly difficult to wait with a degree of patience.
Comments like "it's simply not correct to say that we're running way behind" on middle-school notification, which Andy Jacob wrote to me this morning, sorely test that patience. Earlier this week, he said all letters were to have gone out by Monday June 2. Now, he says, "some of the assignments went out last week. ... Some of them went out earlier this week. All the letters should be out by today." Does that 'should' make you nervous, too?
We are working with the DOE, seeking detailed comment on specific enrollment and admissions questions. We hope for their candor and prompt communication. And for the reader who wondered, where's Chancellor Klein in all this? He's in Washington, DC -- giving a talk this afternoon at the American Enterprise Institute, on the challenges of revitalizing urban schools.