Coveted Manhattan high schools see spike in offers to low-income students – Chalkbeat New York

Admissions to New York City’s high schools veered from the usual script this year: The education department eliminated geographic preferences that allowed one Manhattan district — which includes some of the city’s wealthiest ZIP codes — to maintain its own set of elite high schools.

The local stronghold on those six coveted and highly selective schools in District 2, spanning areas such as TriBeCa, Greenwich Village and the Upper East Side, appears to have been broken for next year’s incoming freshman class.

At the Upper East Side’s Eleanor Roosevelt High School, roughly 62% of the offers were made to students outside of the district, according to education department data released Friday. The year before, only 1% of teens outside the district received offers to the high performing high school. At Baruch College Campus High School in Gramercy, 42% of seats went to students outside of the district, up 2% from the previous year.

With offers being made to students who live farther afield, the number of students from low-income families also increased. It tripled to 50% at Eleanor Roosevelt, and rose from 36% to 66% at Baruch. Across the district, offers to students eligible for free or reduced lunch rose from 47% last year to 60%, according to the education department. (Citywide, roughly 72% of students are from low-income families.)

“This is a pretty remarkable change, but not altogether unexpected,” said Sean Corcoran, a Vanderbilt University professor who has researched New York City