Thursday, April 23, 2009

A look at School Assignment Questions

A series of neighborhood meetings will take place in May on possible changes in the student assignment plan for the Boston Public Schools. The meetings will follow presentation of a revised proposal from the Boston School Dept. A final plan, taking effect in 2010-2011, would be considered by the School Committee in June. Tighter budgets will probably make access to quality more difficult. Officials working on the plan have to find a way between or around two entrenched ideas about school assignments: a preference for schools close to home, especially through grade 8; and a belief that more options, requiring more transportation, means more access to quality. Would more walking assignments, for example, for families in Hyde Park and West Roxbury, necessarily mean less access to quality for students in Roxbury and Dorchester? Would more neighborhood assignments necessarily increase access to the full-day benefits in a "community of learning?" And what about needs of English Language Learners and students in Special Education? See article in Dorchester Reporter.