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Which School Choice Plan Do You Prefer?

After months of wrangling, there are three proposals left on the table. Which do you think is best for Boston's families?

After months of deliberations, trial balloons and many neighborhood meetings, Boston school officials on Tuesday released three alternatives to the current school selection process.

The three plans are designed to provide families with flexibility to select quality schools close to home, according to the Boston School Choice website

The three plans are as follows:

10-zone plan: In this plan, parents would rank the schools in their zone. The child would then be placed based on availability in each school. This plan is structurally similar to the current zone-based system for placing students in schools.

Home-based proposal A: This plan would give parents the choice of at least six schools of different quality near their home address. 

"For Home-Based: A, every family’s list would include the closest two schools from Tier I, as well as the four closest schools from Tiers I and II, then the six closest schools from either Tier I, II or III," school officials wrote on the proposals Web page.

Home-based proposal B: According to the proposal, "For Home-Based: B, every family’s list would include the closest three schools from Tier I, as well as the six closest schools from Tiers I and II, then the nine closest schools from either Tier I, II or III." 

Schools would be placed in tiers according to MCAS scores, with the best-performing schools in Tier I. 

What do you think? Do any of these plans offer parents the flexibility to choose a quality school near their home? Would an expanded zone system solve the problem, or do either home-based plans hit the mark? Is there another option you'd rather see the school system try? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Jay K. January 23, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Home-based A
Karen Kast January 23, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Please be aware folks, these are yet more "new" proposals by BPS that they are presenting to EAC. To date EVERYTHING you have read is only a recommendation, mostly by BPS, as the EAC has not voted on any of them or made a recommendation to Dr. Johnson yet. EAC members have worked on this process for months, reviewing data, feedback, hearing from people at their meetings etc & narrowed the choices down to certain proposals they asked for models of - those models with the in-depth analysis per EAC's criteria were supposed to be presented by the BPS technical team tonight. Yesterday BPS unveils three new proposals instead. So here we are. NOTHING you have read/heard/seen has actually been actually voted on by the EAC yet. After the EAC gets all info/data etc requested, they will vote on the proposals and then, IF they come to a consensus, they will forward their recommendation to Dr. Carol Johnson. Dr. Johnson will then present the EAC recommendation to the Bosting School Committee as well as, if necessary, BPS' formal recommendations. Then BSC will need to review, they should hold their own community meetings on it (outside of the normal BSC schedule) for feedback from everyone. And then the BSC members will need to vote on the proposals & recommendations... To date, the ONLY thing that has actually been voted on and approved by BSC is the "grandfathering" of current BPS students under any new plan - NOTHING ELSE!
Karen Kast January 23, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Boston School Committee too lol
David Ertischek (Editor) January 23, 2013 at 05:28 PM
I find concern that last year the Boston Public School system proposed five plans, and now they're proposing three different plans. I'm glad they have listened to residents about what people want, but it seems like they very well will come back with more proposals in a couple of months.
kim masterson January 23, 2013 at 08:51 PM
I would like to know where this 10 zone plan came from. Looking at this map, all I see is a major cluster fudgicle! It is going to cause a major exile across town to get into the popular schools; leaving the neighborhood schools with empty seats. Now, what's going to happen to those seats? They'll be filled up with students whose parents didn't their children bused across town & the saga goes around & around as it has been for the past 40 years
kim masterson January 23, 2013 at 08:52 PM
the more i look at this, the more i get confused! & i'm sure i'm not the only one! picking out a school for your child(ren) should not be this difficult! every neighborhood deserves the right to have to the same quality schools! you should be able to visit a school in dorchester/roxbury then in wr & see they are offering the same academics, elt, ell, & sped!
Karen Kast January 23, 2013 at 09:00 PM
I wrote a "help you catch up" blog on this latest move by BPS - hope you all will read it!
frankly mr.shankly January 28, 2013 at 09:31 PM
right now I prefer the home-based plan. All of the zone plans essentially red-lines certain neighborhoods - even this current incarnation. What bugged me about the last round of zone plans was that on all but one or two, the line cut roslindale right in half - essentially lumping the more affluent section with west roxbury and JP, and the up-and-coming section with mattapan. This zone plan seems better for where I live, but not for people in other parts of the city. I think the home based plan might help more with parents adopting local schools before their kids are school-age and then ranking their first choice at this particular "improving" school rather than an existing "high performing" school.

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