Friday, February 15, 2013

School choice in New Orleans, evolving

Here's an article from the Times-Picayune about school choice in New Orleans, which will be expanding to include more schools.   One of the paramount issues is communicating effectively with parents.

New Orleans parents need easier access to school choices: John Ayers

"Efforts to include more schools in OneApp, along with improved communication about the application and enrollment process, are critical steps toward a successful school choice system in New Orleans.

"But we can do more.

"In order for school choice policy to be effective, it must respond to the way in which parents navigate the school system, what they value and desire in schools, and how they feel about the education their children are receiving. First, it is critical that the application process be streamlined to include all schools, including School Board charter schools. Additionally, the districts must invest in ongoing clear communication with parents and through parents, recognizing that parents rely most on information from each other.

"Of course, choice among limited high-quality options may not feel like choice at all. New Orleans must continue to focus on improving the quality of its public schools to ensure all parents have access to great school choices close to home. Until then, school choice will do an inadequate job providing parents with access to the best schools for their children. Markets are never perfect, but we can make this one better."

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