What does it take for school choice to “work”? How do existing tools fall short? What can be done to ensure that all families have access to quality school options? Like many cities across the nation, Washington, D.C., has looked to school choice as one way to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged students. School choice attempts to level the playing field between students of different backgrounds by making it possible for all families to have access to a city’s high-quality public schools—whether students live near these schools or not. But school choice requires families to make substantial investments of time and resources into the school choosing process, which can pose barriers to ensuring all families can access quality schooling options.
In this webinar, Ashley Jochim, a senior research analyst at CRPE, looks at the High Quality School Campaign, an innovative effort led by D.C. School Reform Now (DCSRN). This highly targeted and high-touch initiative connects parents in the city’s most underserved regions to “parent advocates” who take parents through the entire enrollment process—from learning about schools (with an emphasis on schools receiving high performance ratings) to completing the application to enrolling their child in school for the fall. The goal of the campaign is to dramatically increase the number of underserved families who actively take advantage of school choice and enroll in the city’s top-rated schools.
Based on findings from a two-year research partnership with DCSRN, Dr. Jochim highlights the work of parent advocates, the experiences of families, and results to date. Special thanks to David Pickens, DCSRN’s executive director, and Natasha Ettienne, a DCSRN parent advocate, for making this event possible.
For more context, read CRPE's early evaluation of the HQSC.