Monday, April 25, 2011

Pre-kindergarten and school choice in Boston

Boston has a pre-kindergarten program that doesn't have enough spaces to meet demand, particularly because it is an entryway into the full public school choice process: a child who gets a good school for pre-K is guaranteed to be able to stay there for elementary school.

Stephanie Ebbert picks up the story in the Globe: Split decisions on school lottery.
Parents shut out of Boston pre-K classes despair, while others rejoice in top picks

"Chief Jasaad Rogers of Roxbury, like his brother before him, had lousy luck in the Boston public schools lottery. Not only was the 4-year-old shut out of the schools his parents wanted; he did not win a prekindergarten seat in any school at all. His parents, who both work full time, were left with few options besides paying for him to go somewhere else.
In West Roxbury, Debra Brendemuehl hit the jackpot, though she did not necessarily need full-day schooling for her 4-year-old, Brendan. (“They’re not kids forever,’’ she reasoned.)
She entered the lottery because she knew the only way to get him into the neighborhood’s highly sought-after schools was to apply when he was 4. The strategy worked: He won a spot at one of the city’s most competitive schools, the Lyndon in West Roxbury, which he can attend through eighth grade."

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