Saturday, October 12, 2013

Integrating school choice for charter schools and district schools

One problem facing cities in assigning children to schools is congestion: if students are admitted to schools in a decentralized way, so that some students receive multiple admissions and must decide which to accept before other children can be admitted, the process can run up against the start of the school year. Stable matching mechanisms allow parents to indicate preferences, so that each child can be assigned to the (single) most preferred school at which he can be admitted, and that speeds up the process.

But in many cities, charter schools remained outside of the school choice process, so that a child might be admitted to one district school and one or two charters, and the delay in deciding which one to attend would ripple through the system. But many school districts are now integrating the charters into single application, single assignment system (a process in which IIPSC has been deeply involved).

Here's a story from Education Week: Charters Adopt Common Application Systems, Programs simplify enrollment process

In most school districts with charter school options, parents must navigate a complex web of charter school applications, deadlines, and lotteries specific to each individual school—but that is changing in a handful of cities across the country.
To combat the confusion and make applying to charters easier and more transparent, a small but growing number of school districts, as well as charter school organizations, have rolled out new programs such as universal enrollment systems and common applications to centralize and streamline the process.
Among those efforts:
• Denver launched a centralized enrollment system calledSchoolChoice in 2010 for all district-run and charter schools in the 85,000-student system.
• In New Orleans, the Louisiana Recovery School District, in partnership with the Orleans Parish School Board, debuted a universal enrollment system called OneApp for charter and district-run schools in February 2012 and is now entering its third year of a unified lottery system serving the city's 44,000 students.
• The Newark and District of Columbia school systems are making plans to implement universal enrollment systems for their district-run and charter schools for the 2014-15 school year.

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