+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    SHS admission decision process change? - Score vs. School preference choice

    Regarding the admission decision process, the Handbook does not make it clear and only states three factors will be considered (test score, school preference order, and seat availability). My understanding is that the SHSAT score is the first deciding factor, followed by the school choice order and seat availability, as this looks fair to everyone. However, in a recent conversation with a friend who knows someone in DOE, I was advised that only the 1st choice would be considered and 2nd choice would be hardly considered. Thus, I am thinking over changing the school order by the deadline March 1. Not sure whether this applies to previous years or is only specific to this year.

    Let me use a theoretical example: Student A chose Stuy (1st) and Bx Sci (2nd), and will receive a score of 560. Student B chose Bx Sci (1st) and City (2nd), and has a score of 540. Let me further assume the Stuy cutoff score is 565 and Bx Sci cutoff score 535. A fair rule would be: based on the score first, followed by the choice. In this case, Student A has a higher score than B, so A can get into his/her 2nd choice (Bx Sci), although A unexpectedly did not do exceptionally well to get 1st choice. Clearly, there is no penalty for A to choose Stuy, given the need to consider the commute and usual academic performance.

    However, if the “NEW” rule is true, while Student B can get into his/her 1st choice (Bx Sci), Student A will not get into the 2nd choice, because B and other students with scores higher than 535 (but lower than Student A’s score of 540) have already taken the seat of Bx Sci. Indeed, very few students will get 2nd, 3rd … choice, depending on the cutoff scores. Thus, it is crucial for A to choose Bx Sci as his/her 1st choice and practically for everyone to choose a “safe” 1st choice. In other words, don’t shoot high but be realistic!!?

    COVID makes very thing possible, including the rule change. Is there someone who has any thoughts? I emailed the DOE without getting any answer yet. But if this is a hidden rule, I bet I won’t receive any reply or any informative reply. Having a transparent, fair and reasonable thing in politics of today is so unimaginable.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Last edited by River24; 02-13-2021 at 12:42 PM.

  2. #2
    You don't say what the friend who know somebody in the DOE has to do with anything per se, that is what does it mean the first choice is only considered, and that the second choice would hardly be considered? If the first choice is only considered then that means the second choice would never be considered.

    Your understanding of rank, priority, seat is the correct one. Given your theoretical example since Student A has a higher score than Student B, then A will be looked at first. A's first choice is looked at. If there is still a seat at that school, they get it. So long as there is a seat and it's your turn you get the seat. If there is no seat, your next choice is looked at, and so on. It does not look at the cutoff score to accept or reject you, it looks for whether or not there is still a seat available or not. The cutoff score is only something that exists after all seats have been given out. So you don't get rejected from Stuy because you had a 560 and the cutoff turned out to be 565 as the cutoff is just an artifact of the process, not a criteria of the process. If you had a 560 and did not get into Stuy it was because a higher scoring kid's turn was up and that kid got the seat, including perhaps the last seat. There is no did exceptionally well or not, there's just what happens on your turn, and whether a seat is available or not. As we started out, it's rank, priority, seat not rank, priority, score.

    Not sure what you mean about a "new" rule. Student A will get looked at before Student B. If there is no more Stuy seats to give A, then they will look at Sci for A. B's turn is not yet so they don't get looked at yet. If there is a Sci seat for A, they get it. B can't get a Sci seat until it's their turn and because their score is less than A their turn is after A, so B can't get A's seat.

    I'm unclear on where you're getting this new rule from and exactly who at the DOE said it.
    Passionate tutor of Elementary School subjects specializing in NY state tests, and the specialized high/middle school tests (SHSAT, Hunter, TACHS/CHSEE, ISEE, SSAT, ERB, ...)

  3. #3
    Thanks, GregsTutoringNYC!

    I wish the way you confirmed still applies to this year. That is a reasonable process. Simply put, if there is a total of 4000 seats available, as long as a student's score is ranked 4000th and put down all 8 schools, that student would have a spot. However, the "NEW' rule would emphasize the 1st choice and then test-takers are ranked by the scores of only those who chose that school as their 1st choice. I recalled DOE used this rule for city-wide middle school G&T screen (no chance for 2nd choice), and so i was not very surprised if this rule applies to SHS this year. But still I am not sure, as even DOE would never state it clearly.

    DOE already has many rooms to manipulate. The most obvious one is that they count the correct ones of a student as among those 20 "uncounted" questions (field test items) if they don't like this student or this batch or group of students, or count the incorrect ones as among those "uncounted" if they like the student or a particular groups of students.

    If not because of this sort of "deliberating", it would need only a couple of weeks at most to complete the SHS admission process. Above all, the answers are computer scanned, and the decision process relies on a simple algorithm. I heard way so many NYC parents complained the decision date is way too late, which impacts parents plan including finding a difference place to live/study. This year, the DOE staff in the meeting mentioned "late spring" or sometimes "late spring to summer". A lot of pressure is transferred to the parents as well.

  4. #4
    Actually computationally, there is no reason the whole SHS admissions can't be done in a matter of days: 2 days to express mail tests to the testing center, mere hours -- if even, to process the Scantrons (reading, copying, scoring and creating a data base), and 2-3 days to print paper copies including creating digitized versions of them to be emailed). This ignores non-SHS processing that needs to be done, and possible vetting that occurs. I'm a programmer and have done exactly this kind of stuff before both by hand and via computer with lousy equipment and minimal staff in some cases for 10s of K of entries/students/etc, and it can be done with little fanfare, so it's a matter of how streamlined they are. We also know this can all be the case because NY State Test and Regents can all be processed in 48 hours including hand processing and is even though they make parents wait for results, and that's super chaotic compared to this.

    Yes, it's true, that so long as all these things are kept a secret, and furthermore, so long as the DOE has control of the algorithm, they can really do anything they want, and do so no matter what the tell us; that's actually always been the case. And they have lied to us repeatedly this testing season. And I'm on record in many videos point out these lies and digital manipulation possibilities. However, I (personally at the least, but also editorially speaking too) also don't want to be jumping at shadows on things which are not the case or not being said. As asked earlier, who said this "NEW" algorithm, and where is it documented? We don't want this to be a he said she said troll rumor or something like that. Ofc if it's true, it sounds like a big problem.

    Minus the warnings on the DOE website about about the handbook (SHS and non-SHS) changing because of covid "DISCLAIMER: Please note that a number of the policies, admissions priorities, admissions methods, and selection criteria, as well as all key dates and deadlines in the print/PDF guides linked to below—while accurate when published in spring 2020—are no longer current." the SHS Handbook says:

    "To determine offers to a Specialized High School:
    ■ All students take the SHSAT and list their school choices on the SHSAT answer sheet in their true preference order. Students only list the eight Specialized High Schools where admissions is based on the SHSAT. See pages 31–33 for more information about listing choices.
    ■ All scores of the students who took the test are ordered from highest score to lowest score.
    ■ The student with the highest composite score is placed in their first choice (highest listed school).
    ■ Starting from the highest score on down, each student, in turn, is placed in that student’s highest listed school in which seats are still available. Therefore, if all the seats in a student’s first-choice school have been offered to students who scored higher, the student is placed in their second- choice school if seats are available. If all the seats in the student’s second-choice school have been offered to students who scored higher, the student is offered a seat in their third-choice school if there are still seats available, and so on. This process continues until there are no seats available in any of these eight Specialized High Schools."

    We know one change is that this year for the first time students did not list their schools choices on the test itself but on myschools.

    As to the offer date, the website mentioned April however DOE reps have continue to only say by the end of the school year and one may have said June I can't recall.
    Last edited by GregsTutoringNYC; 02-13-2021 at 04:37 PM.
    Passionate tutor of Elementary School subjects specializing in NY state tests, and the specialized high/middle school tests (SHSAT, Hunter, TACHS/CHSEE, ISEE, SSAT, ERB, ...)

  5. #5
    Hi GregsTutoringNYC,

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. No matter how they calibrate the scores and no matter what they do afterwards, if DOE could complete the process and post the decision as soon as possible, it can be a big relief for us parents in the planning months. Waiting until May or June or even later really kills us on top of COVID stress. It is pity and hopeless that we pay someone (via city tax) to harass us.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by River24 View Post
    in a recent conversation with a friend who knows someone in DOE, I was advised that only the 1st choice would be considered
    I'm still completely unclear where this statement came from, and who said it.
    Passionate tutor of Elementary School subjects specializing in NY state tests, and the specialized high/middle school tests (SHSAT, Hunter, TACHS/CHSEE, ISEE, SSAT, ERB, ...)

  7. #7
    ??????
    Passionate tutor of Elementary School subjects specializing in NY state tests, and the specialized high/middle school tests (SHSAT, Hunter, TACHS/CHSEE, ISEE, SSAT, ERB, ...)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts