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Samuel Abrams was a teacher at Beacon High Schools and is now a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.
He wrote a few days ago in the Columbia Journalism Review about the insistence by the New York Times that admissions to schools like Beacon are even harder than they are.
Anxiety among eighth-graders and their parents persists about the selectivity of the city’s screened high schools, in no small part because of repeated misreporting by the Times and others. The paper’s coverage—exemplified by a 2017 piece headlined “Couldn’t Get into Yale? 10 New York City High Schools Are More Selective”—has even been blamed for fueling the segregation by discouraging students from underrepresented neighborhoods from applying to many screened high schools on the grounds that admission seems nearly impossible.
He describes his years-long effort to persuade the Times that its reporting is wrong. He has been rebuffed again and again.
Why does the Times insist on exaggerating the data? Maybe it’s a better story than fact-based journalism.