When Michael Bloomberg became Mayor of New York City there were only 15.8% of the high schools who screened their students. By 2009, at the beginning of the Mayor's third term, screened schools almost doubled to 28.4% and rose even further by the end of his third term in 2013 to 33%. The Mayor's "school choice" program led to a further segregation of the high schools, both racially and academically, as it gave the high achieving students greater choice to pick high schools that only admitted students like them. In fact, as Mayor Bloomberg further exacerbated the segregation by closing down almost all the large comprehensive high schools that had a somewhat diverse student racial composition and ability called "educational options". Approximately 55% of the high schools were in this category. By the time Mayor Bloomberg left office the schools that had an "educational option" feel dramatically to only 27%!. Regardless, the abundance of screened schools make the "ed-opt" model a failed method to attract high achieving students since the multitude of screened schools could out compete them and this was encouraged by the DOE's school choice program.
Various studies have shown what is needed to make schools diverse and attract high achieving students is. One, sharply reduce screened schools. Two, bring back the large comprehensive high schools in the community and offer programs and staff that can attract high achieving students like Mandarin, Computer Science, and Advanced Placement courses. Three, have a stable and experienced teaching staff. Unfortunately, Deputy Chancellor Phil Weinberg has already said that school choice will not change and that few, if any, screened schools will be eliminated. Moreover, the DOE policy of school-based fair student funding, which is funded at only 89% of what it should be, discourages schools from hiring experienced teachers by penalizes them in their budget. Therefore, while the City talks desegregation, their very policies actually encourages segregation.
While the DOE talks about desegregating the high schools, just look at how the DOE allows screened schools to grab the high achieving students and are relatively diverse racially while the remaining schools are left to fight over the low performing students that are age appropriate, have good attendance, and have no behavior issues. Oh, by the way, is it any wonder that the schools that are not screened are 86% minority with few East Asians or Whites? The DOE may claim they are looking at desegregating the high schools but the reality is their very policies will make this virtually impossible to achieve.