Brooklyn family frustrated with Department of Education lottery high school admissions process

A Brooklyn family is frustrated with the Department of Education’s revamped high school admissions process.

The Berejinski family says it’s no longer about getting good grades, especially for high-achieving students.

“The high school results were released and unfortunately I didn’t get into any of the schools that were on my list. Shocking and devastating indeed,” says Erik Berejinski.

He says it was a flurry of emotions after learning his fate for where he was placed in high school. He had his eyes set on where he would spend the next four years.

“We applied to Goldstein, Millennium and two Midwood programs. That’s it. We only applied to four because we couldn’t convince ourselves that I wouldn’t have attended any of those,” said said Erik Berejinsky.

Although he says he only applied to these four programs, his family cannot understand why he was not placed. His report card shows high achievements in all areas for the 2020-21 school year.

“He wakes up every day and asks me why? Why did you tell me that if I study hard and do everything, why am I not being rewarded at this point?” said his father, Eddie Berejinski.

The Berejinski family say their son was placed in the Academy for Conservation and the Environment – a school they didn’t even consider.

Erik Berejinsky was so frustrated that he wrote a letter to the Department of Education that said in part, “The whole system that was put in place was to ensure equality. Instead, the exact opposite happened. Now the children have even fewer opportunities. “

“I feel like they didn’t consider people like me and how we would react. Someone like me, I try my best. I had to write a letter because I needed to be heard,” said Erik Berejinski.

According to the DOE website, students’ highest marks in four courses, English, math, social studies, and science, will be used in the admissions process. They will choose the highest mark in each course from the seventh year and the end of term marks from the eighth year. The points are then averaged to determine which of the four lottery pools the students belong to.

“Look, it’s like that, nobody’s perfect, but it’s not fair for A students, it’s not fair for an A+ student,” said Eddie Berejinsk.

The Berejinski family believe the new system lowers the bar for some to enter competitive high schools. And with information released late, it made the wait nerve-wracking.

“I feel like the city failed to explain all the information properly. There was only limited information, so I never really knew how they ranked students,” says Erik Berejinsk .

News 12 has contacted the Department of Education about the matter to see if there is an appeal process for dissatisfied students and parents, but has yet to hear back.

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