The External Advisory Committee on
School Choice (EAC) has completed their one-year community input
process to identify a new school choice assignment system for Boston
Public Schools. On Feb 4, 2013 the EAC will present the 'best of
the best' models for final consideration. The plan implemented
will provide parents school choices that are fairer and more
predictable than the current system and it will help the City to build
Monday, February 4 at 6pm
Orchard Gardens K-8
906 Albany St., Roxbury
The External Advisory Committee (EAC) on School Choice invites the
community to an update on Monday, February 4 at 6pm at Orchard Gardens
K-8 School, 906 Albany St., Roxbury.
BPS will present the latest
options for a new school assignment system and the EAC will invite
public comment. To learn more and to get involved, visit
Boston Public School
Ultimately, the development of a new student assignment process is a
conversation about quality – and the urgent need to make every public
school a great choice.
According to Mayor Menino, "When I took office (November 1993), just
one in four high school students earned a
passing grade on statewide mathematics tests. Today, thanks to the hard
work of teachers, students and families, much has changed."
- 86% pass statewide mathetmatics tests on their first
- 94% of today’s parents (survey Spring 2012) say their
school is a great place for their
child to learn
Superintendent Carol R. Johnson and the Boston School Committee have
- Doubled the number of students participating in
summer learning programs
- Trained thousands of teachers to help students learn
- Added weekly arts and music for 14,000 students
- Created new tools for students to give feedback to
their own teachers
Current Three-Zone System
For nearly 25 years, the City of Boston's school system was split into
what Mayor Menino calls "three sprawling student assignment zones -
North, East and West." What this caused (he says) is "a
bewildering set of options with no assurance they [the families] will
get what they asked for. Too often, children are sent to schools far
from home because we couldn’t give
them what they wanted. Many families avoid the process altogether."
Furthermore, the Boston School system has relied on the three-zone
system to adjust for changes in population and students with specific
disabilities or language deficits were often located far from where
Despite the dramatic improvement over the years that Mayor Menino has
been in office, the existing school assignment process still had too
many issues and needed to be changed.
Committee on School Choice
One year ago, Mayor Menino appointed the External Advisory Committee on
School Choice. The process they put in place
This week, the EAC will be updating the public on the 'best of the
best" models. (View at bostonschoolchoice.org)
- Focused on a "smart and honest look at school quality"
- Created a transparent community involvement process
All potential school choice models are based on public input.
More than four thousand voices at
more than 50 community meetings in the last year chimed in, including
from MIT, Harvard, Boston College and other institutions.
Mayor Menino is very supportive of the outcome of the EAC process with
the options generated providing school choices that are fairer and more
predictable than the current system. Parents can now get involved
much earlier, meet
the principal and teachers, and ‘go deep’ with the school community
before deciding which schools to pick.
On a more global scale, with a more stable community-based set of
predictable to families years in advance of the need, the new school
choice systems would help the City to build stronger communities.
Whatever plan is implemented, the result will be a new approach to
student assignment, one that emphasizes:
- Quality choices
- Long-term predictability for familieis
- Great schools closer to home
Create ten community-based zones, designed to offer a balance of
quality choices no matter where a child lives.
Provide families many options including ones they are familiar with.
Other options are based on an address-based system with no zones, which
tailors school choices tor each individual student.
High quality school choices will be available for every child - some
close to home and others further away.
Closing Comments from
"Over the last year I have watched as an extraordinary public process
has played out. With your support, in the coming weeks we will
achieve meaningful education reforms that will benefit an entire
generation of students and the broader community. Our students stand to
benefit greatly from this shared effort.
Today, I am asking for your support as we take yet another important
step our children deserve. Today I am asking for
your help so we can move forward together.