reflects a major upgrade in several aspects of their choice system, the most notable of which is a new “One Newark Enrolls” process for enrollment: Students/parents rank up to eight schools and are matched to one through a computer algorithm that minimizes the overall disparity for all applicants between their preferences and their assignments. The new enrollment system includes charter schools in the common application. The Newark Public Schools website provides a great deal of guidance on using the new system. Transportation is now provided for everyone, with free shuttles to support families most impacted by One Newark.Overall, the Index reveals that more large American cities – 51%, according to Brookings – are moving towards enrollment systems that offer parents choices among schools instead of zip-code-driven school assignments. The editors conclude with a discussion of the the benefits of school choice that has particular relevance to N.J.'s zip-code-driven school enrollment structure:
A lack of school choice perpetuates inequality in education opportunity in school districts that have residential school assignment zones for neighborhood schools that are stratified by family income and socioeconomic status (as is typical in most cities), and in which schools that serve disproportionately lower-income families struggle to attract and retain highly effective teachers and school leaders (as is also typical). In such a district, a parent whose child is assigned to an under-performing school because of where the family lives, and who does not have the wherewithal to move to a different neighborhood with a better school, is stuck with a subpar education for her child. In contrast, a similar parent in a district that affords the opportunity for school choice that includes charter schools and open enrollment in traditional public schools can have the same chance of her child being admitted to a good school as any other parent being served by the district. If the district has good schools and the parent shops wisely for one, the future of her child can be substantially improved.
Labels: charter schools, Newark, school choice