In Education

Parents Running Against Race-Based Admissions Policies Sweep Local School Board Races

Candidates backed by an organization focused on promoting merit-based admissions notched several victories in New York City’s recent school board elections, according to the New York Post.

Of 147 candidates endorsed by Parent Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum and Education (PLACE NYC), a group focused on improving academic rigor within K-12 schools, 115 won a seat on their local school district board for the 2023-2025 term, according to the New York Post. The endorsed candidates now make up 40% of elected officials on Citywide & Community Education Councils, which is New York City’s version of school boards.

“The results of this election is a clear mandate from New York City Public School parents for expanded accelerated education opportunities and merit-based admissions,” PLACE NYC said in a statement.

New York City has 32 Citywide & Community Education Councils which meet monthly throughout the school year, the New York Post reported. The members include ten elected officials and two officials appointed by the local borough president.

The victories come after New York City reversed admission policies implemented by former Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio to now give the top 15% of students with a grade point average (GPA) of 90 or above the first pick at selective high schools and middle schools. The previous admissions policy was a random lottery that allowed underperforming students to receive admission to the screened schools.

Of candidates endorsed by Parents for Middle School Equity, a New York City-based group focused on keeping de Blasio’s admissions policy, less than a quarter won their elections, according to Chalkbeat New York.

Throughout the country, parents are fighting race-based admissions policies that fail to weigh merit; in Philadelphia, parents are pushing back against a prestigious high school’s lottery admissions system that is used to increase diversity among students. A federal court ruled that a Virginia school could continue to use its racial balancing admissions policy at the nation’s top high school in May.

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