In Districts With Lots of Choice, Simplifying Enrollment Is Not So Easy
An excerpt of the article by Arianna Prothero:
Common-enrollment systems often include information meant to help parents compare schools and judge which ones are the best fits for their children. A single system is also intended to ease the burden for parents who would otherwise have to juggle multiple applications and deadlines.
Unified enrollment also makes it difficult, if not impossible, for charter schools to "cream" high-performing students and turn away those with special needs—something critics have long accused charters of doing in order to inflate their test scores, according to the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research and policy analysis group at the University of Washington.
On the flip side, many parents are uncomfortable with a computer algorithm making the ultimate call on something as high stakes and personal as where to send their children to school, said Betheny Gross, a researcher at CRPE who has interviewed and surveyed hundreds of parents on this issue in other cities.
"They're no less arbitrary than bingo balls or lottery numbers being pulled, but somehow it feels different," she said. "... If it were my kid, I might feel kind of weird about it, too."
Read the full article.