Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Orleans School Choice: bringing one application process to all schools

Progress is being made: New Orleans school officials push holdout charters to join single-application process

"After years of complaints from parents over how complicated it can be to register a student in New Orleans public schools, the city's top education officials have come tantalizingly close to bringing every school within one streamlined enrollment system. A single obstacle remains: persuading a dozen or so independent charter schools -- including four selective magnet schools whose limited seats are especially prized -- to join a common application. It's a turning point that will affect how thousands of pupils go about choosing a school and help shape a first-of-its-kind public education system, potentially knitting back together an enrollment process balkanized by the momentous changes that took place after Hurricane Katrina.

"The charter schools in question are the 12 that fall under theOrleans Parish School Board, the elected body that lost control of most city schools to the state-run Recovery School District after the storm, along with three charter schools in New Orleans -- known as Type 2 charters -- that are authorized by the state board of education and accept students from around the state.

"In a rare joint interview this week, officials with the School Board and the Recovery District said they are deep into conversations with each of those schools about joining the OneApp; all of them are governed by independent charter boards that will make the decision for each school."

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