public high school choice rant

Forgive me for too many CAPS ahead of time.

I have been hearing a lot about the "second round" this year, like you get another shot at the choice you want late in the spring. GUYS! the DOE doesn't work that way!! The "supplemental round" is for students who have NOT RECEIVED ANY CHOICE in the main round. Your placement in the main round is where your child will attend for freshman year, no ifs ands or buts. The students in the supplemental round get to choose from the schools that have seats still available.

But "ah ha!", you say, "what about the Specialized HS kids who get to choose between a two schools?! Aren't the schools that they don't take from the main round left over in the supplemental round?" NO!!! everyone (who has placed a seriously good number of good fit schools) is placed in the main round and all the schools get "over offers" -many more students than they can hold. The DOE has historical data from years of experience how many kids are going to take their Specialized HS seats (or private school, etc.) and how many are taking their 1-12 list seats. If a few more kids choose the Specialized HS, the classes are a little fuller there, but all the seats at the highly sought after, selective schools are still full, full, full. The process this year is NO DIFFERENT than previous years. The DOE always ran the WHOLE algorithm before the Specialized round placements where announced. They have always known in early Feb. where EVERYONE is placed. They just didn't release the info, because they did that New School Fair, and students had the option to add a new program to their list before they got their results. The problem was that the conspiracy theories abounded AND it pushed the supplemental and appeals process way too late in the year. This is a process that handles upwards of 90,000 kids a year. They will not entertain picking and chosing in a second round and if you are banking on getting no choice so that you can pick off Beacon or another favorite in a "second round" you are taking a bad gamble with your child's future.