Low-income students could get priority in student assignment
A bid for equity in school choice plan
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Another strategy that generated discussion at a meeting earlier this week was a request that some advisory committee members made to the School Department to examine the proposal for 23 assignment zones, to determine whether a zone that has predominantly low-performing schools could be paired with a zone that has better schools.
The zones being paired would not have to be geographically contiguous, and students in the zones with better schools could wind up with an assignment in a low-performing school zone.
The advisory committee’s work in developing intervention strategies has been creating buzz among parents across the city.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Megan Wolf, a Jamaica Plain mother and a member of a grass-roots parent group pushing to slow down the process of redesigning the student-assignment system. “But it remains to be seen how it will play out. Will the intervention be enough?”
City Councilor John Connolly, who is among a small group of elected officials that pitched its own proposal to overhaul assignment, which would offer families a choice of a handful of schools near their home as well as some citywide options, said he was encouraged the advisory committee is pushing for a more creative plan.
“I think that’s a real positive development,” said Connolly, noting that his proposal has garnered nearly 2,000 signatures from the community. “But now the key question that is unanswered is what will the final option will look like.”