From N.Y. Times by Javier C. Hernandez:
The number of students placed on waiting lists for kindergarten dropped by half this year as New York City’s Education Department used a new strategy for matching students with schools, officials said on Monday.

Still, a large number of 5-year-olds did not gain admission to any of their preferred schools, an outcome certain to frustrate families jockeying for seats at some of the city’s most coveted programs.

In total, more than 67,000 children applied for kindergarten programs for the coming school year, education officials said. Of those students, 71 percent received admission to their top-choice school, while 18 percent were offered seats at another of their selections. About 11 percent did not receive admission to any of their preferred schools. Parents were notified of the results on Monday.

Education officials said a new application system allowed them to cut waiting lists roughly in half, to 1,242 students citywide, from 2,361 last year. This year, for the first time, families submitted one application to the Education Department, in which they could list as many as 20 choices. In the past, they applied to each school individually and often held onto seats in their school zone even if they won admission to a preferred program elsewhere.

“We’re proud the wait lists have shortened and will continue our work to connect students with their zoned schools,” Harry Hartfield, a spokesman for the Education Department, said in a statement.

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