Five proposals revealed to revise Boston school assignment process

Last night, Boston Public Schools (BPS) presented five proposals that would overhaul the school assignment system. Their goal is that students can attend schools closer to home and that elementary schools will be better connected to middle and K-8 schools nearby.

You can review all five proposals here, where BPS has a survey for feedback on the plans. According to BPS:

  • Families would apply to schools within their Home Zone and could also select citywide schools as options
  • BPS would place the most common programs required by students with disabilities and by English Language Learners in schools closer to where these students live
  • BPS will offer options outside of a student’s Home Zone to which they may apply
  • High schools will remain citywide
  • Any new plan would be phased in, which means the school choice process for the 2013-14 school year will be similar to what families are used to today

A series of community meetings are planned to discuss the proposals, see the schedule here.

For more information:

New Report from Boston Public Schools about School Choice

Boston Public Schools (BPS) released the findings of a survey issued to parents/caregivers about the school choice system. To increase transparency about the student assignment process, the raw data is now posted on a special BPS website focused on school choice:

The Boston Globe analyzed the dozen reports now posted on the site and concluded that “parents across Boston want schools that offer strong academics and a safe environment close to home. But their priorities differ based on where they live … Residents of Charlestown, downtown, parts of Dorchester, East Boston, and West Roxbury are more likely to say they want their children to attend a school in their neighborhood. Those in Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Mattapan and Roxbury prioritize safety over proximity.”

BPS is planning to host a series of community meetings to discuss the data:

  • Tuesday, August 28, 6:30-8pm: Tobin Community Center (in the Tobin Community Room), 1481 Tremont St., Roxbury
  • Thursday, August 30, 7:30-9pm: Hyde Park Community Center Auditorium, 1179 River St., Hyde Park
  • Wednesday, September 12: Location and time to be announced

Last spring, the Boston Globe began a series on BPS’s school choice system called “Getting In.” Check out our posts about the series here:

For more information:

More “Getting In” Series Installments

Getting InThe Boston Globe ran two articles over the weekend in its “Getting In” series about the Boston Public Schools’ lottery. The first, “A daily diaspora, a scattered street,” focuses on the societal and neighborhood impact of the geographic scattering school choice produces. The Globe focused on one street in Roslindale, where  “… 19 school-age children who live on this one city block in Roslindale will migrate to a dizzying array of 15 public, private, and charter schools, from West Roxbury to Wellesley, traveling a combined 182 miles each day. ”

The second story, “The high price of school assignment,” zeroes in on the bottom line. What’s it cost to transport all 32,200 of Boston’s students to school every day for a year? With 691 buses, the tally is $80 million, roughly 10% of the district’s total school budget.

For more information:

  • See our previous coverage of the series here, here,  and here

“Getting In” Series Continues

The Boston Globe ran another installment in its “Getting In” series about the Boston Public Schools’ lottery, this time concentrating on two families: one whose child didn’t get into the school across the street, and one who didn’t want their children to go to the school across the street. Meet these two families in “An early education in the meaning of ‘no’.”

The Eliot, a City Connects school in Boston’s North End, plays a prominent role in the story–watch the video for a cameo by Eliot principal Traci Walker Griffith!

Boston Globe Debuts Multimedia Series on School Lottery

The Boston Globe recently unveiled a new series, “Getting In: Inside Boston’s School Assignment Maze,” which follows 13 families through the Boston Public Schools lottery for school assignment. The home page for the series features video introductions of the families, who come from diverse backgrounds and varying neighborhoods across the city. The first article in the series, “Taking a Chance, Making a Choice,” follows a South End family who is considering moving to the suburbs if the lottery doesn’t work out in their favor. An accompanying article gives more background on the school choice process in Boston: “Selection Process Starts with Choices, Ends with Luck.”

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