Brooklyn family frustrated over Department of Education's lottery high school admission process

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

News 12 Staff

Jun 13, 2022, 1:58 AM

Updated 765 days ago


One Brooklyn family is frustrated over the Department of Education's revamped admission process for high schools.
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 schools that were on my list. Actually, shocking and devastating," says Erik​ Berejinski.
He says it's been a wave of emotions after learning his fate for where he placed for 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 was it. We only applied to four because we couldn't wrap our minds that I wouldn't have gotten into any of those," Erik​ Berejinski says.
While he says he only applied to those four programs, his family can't understand why he didn't place. His report card shows high achievements across the board for the 2020-21 school year.
"He wakes up every day and asks me why? Why you told 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 says their son was placed at Academy for Conservation and the Environment -- a school they didn't even consider.
Erik​ Berejinski was so frustrated that he wrote a letter to the Department of Education that reads in part, "The whole system that was put in place was meant to ensure equality. Instead, the exact opposite occurred. Now kids have even less opportunities."
"I feel like they didn't take people like me into account and how we would react. Someone like me, I try my best. I had to write a letter because I needed to be heard," Erik​ Berejinski says.
According to the DOE website, students' highest grades in four courses, English, math, social studies and science, will be used in the admission process. They will choose the highest grade in each course from seventh grade and end of term grades from eighth grade. The points are then averaged to determine which of four lottery groups the students fall into.
"Listen, it is what it is, nobody's perfect, but that's not fair for the A students, that's not fair for an A-plus student," Eddie Berejinsk says.
The Berejinski family feel the new system lowers the bar for some to get into competitive high schools. And with information rolled out late, it made the wait nerve-racking.
"I feel like the city failed to properly explain all the information. There was only limited information, so I was never really sure how they were ranking students," Erik​ Berejinsk says.
News 12 reached out to the Department of Education on the issue to see if there is an appeal process for dissatisfied students and parents, but have yet to hear back.

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