This again is the tale of 2 cities : Parents who understand how virtually incomprehensible the system of presumed 'school choice' was made INTENTIONALLY knew that they SHOULD ONLY apply to the schools that made sense for their family. The way the current 'system' for selection of these seats has been set for now (and for all grades now, essentially) shows how the NYC/DOE is trying to 'force feed' poor performing schools to fill seats..
Parents from poorer districts, or newly arrived from other countries are without guidance; they can only HOPE to end up in a decent PreK or school.
This is the true tale of 2 cities; I often observe how the schools my children attended are strikingly NOT alike so many of the public schools around the boroughs.
For the Times and other media to really articulate the information about why so many 'thousands' of students are left out in the cold, with no placements ... (each year, this happens ... since under Bloomberg & Klein, the neighborhood school became a near extinct notion) one would have to look more directly at what the school selection process became in these last few years. Diane Ravitch discusses the presumed 'Choice' program and its huge flaws in her well articulated book, "Death and Life in the Great American School System".
Parents who can navigate, have resources to lean on, both economic and social.. those can eventually 'land' the schools they want, whether for PreK or otherwise.
Parents in the majority of the city, however, are INCREASINGLY disenfranchised, left on their own with nearly incomprehensible rules and ever changing forms to download, from a website that tells virtual non truths (at best). It is those tens of thousands of families that are struggling, and who will continue to be left out in the near freezing cold when it comes to having a great, public option. And people wonder then why the outcomes are lower across the city with each year gone by.
A great Prek is immeasurably vital. And those of us who had it, who then had it for our own children.. : we know the value and how much it makes a difference. And hint: it's not about a test or a multiple choice that looks like the LSAT given to 4 year olds either!