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NEW YORK CITY has two high school systems. One is for the affluent and well-connected. It promises elite opportunities for families able to sacrifice time and money to compete for them. The other primarily serves low-income students of color, concentrates them in the same schools, and offers them slim hope of college preparation. But most people here, including policymakers, have little idea what actually goes on inside this dual school system.

That's why we are giving microphones to the students who know the system best. With guidance from editor Taylor McGraw, our team of eight interns is taking you inside the largest and most segregated high school system in the nation for a close look at the inequities that elevate one group to success and confine others to second-class schooling. Along the way, we will investigate the people and policies responsible.

Ultimately, we hope to provide solutions that move us closer to the city's vision of equity and excellence for all children.

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