Reforming Districts Through Choice, Autonomy, Equity, and Accountability: An Overview of the Voluntary Public School Choice Directors Meeting

May 2011

In February 2011, the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) convened a conference to help districts implementing school choice under the U.S. Department of Education’s Voluntary Public School Choice program. The conference, sponsored by the Department of Education, provided grantees access to the most current knowledge from district and charter leaders and school choice researchers on how to effectively implement public school choice.

The conference focused on the most pressing issues faced by localities committed to public school choice. Panelists addressed how choice districts can

  • actively manage the supply of schools in the district,
  • make careful decisions about the allocation of resources across these now independent schools,
  • build fair and transparent enrollment systems,
  • effectively communicate to all parents about their choices, and
  • invoke creative solutions to ensure that students with special needs are well served in these diverse schools.

This paper summarizes the two-day conversation and lessons participants took away from the discussion. Essays by some of the panelists examine each of these five issue areas in greater detail.