how rankings work (sort of behind the scenes)

I’ve heard back from people saying schools have told them if you don’t rank them first you won’t get in. I’ve heard that too and want to say it’s not that simple. 

This is a great article about how kids are matched to schools:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/nyregion/how-game-theory-helped-improve-new-york-city-high-school-application-process.html?_r=0

and this is a terrific article that explains breaks down DOE supplied admissions data and how misleading it can be:

http://ncspe.tc.columbia.edu/center-news/the-real-data-for-nyc-high-school-admissions/

Here’s some more to ponder about screened schools—every school comes up with its own screen. Most these days are purely data (grades, state test scores and attendance). Some schools also do their own testing, interviewing, portfolio reviews, writing assignments, online activities, and/or auditions. Because of that extra stuff, the latter schools have more flexibility in how they rank kids as subjectivity is added into the equation.

Kids rank schools on their applications, which are submitted in December. Principals get info about the kids who rank them and they in turn rank kids. Principals DON’T see how kids rank schools. They have no idea if you put them 1st of 6th or 12th. But, kids who don’t match a screen aren’t ranked. So, if you put Millenium Brooklyn first but don’t have the grades they’re looking for, you won’t be ranked by them. Having said that, if you put NEST first and Beacon second and your grades weren’t amazing but you nailed Beacon’s interview and they ranked you super high, you could get an offer from Beacon.