An Alternative Student Assignment Plan - The Quality Choice Plan
Yesterday, I joined with five city leaders -- State Representatives Linda Dorcena Forry, Russell Holmes, Ed Coppinger, Nick Collins, and City Councilor Matt O’Malley to present an alternative to the student assignment reform plans proposed by the Boston Public Schools last week.
This is not a step that we took lightly or eagerly. However, we are convinced that our plan, the Quality Choice Plan, presents a creative alternative that focuses on improving school quality and bridging the divide between those who want schools close to home and those who want broad choices.
The Boston Public Schools’ administration has submitted five plans for public consideration. Essentially, these plans redraw lines on maps to reduce transportation costs, but the plans do not change the lottery as it presently functions and the plans do not spell out clear commitments or strategies to upgrade quality across schools.
This is why we feel compelled to offer a constructive alternative. We offer a plan that strives to give every parent the ability to send their child to a quality school.
The Quality Choice Plan is one that we believe parents from across the city can support for two reasons.
First, we offer the following reforms to the student assignment system.
- Every child will be grandfathered at their current school.
- Every child will be guaranteed a kindergarten (K-2) seat at one of the four schools closest to that child’s home (no more waitlists and no more lines on maps).
- Every child will be eligible for a network of citywide magnet schools with innovative curriculums.
- Every child will have a guaranteed K-8 school or K-8 pathway.
- Families can apply as groups to gain seats together at under-selected schools.
Second, we address quality with ten specific measures – five focused on establishing a quality baseline for every Boston Public School, and five focused on creating quality supports for schools serving large numbers of students facing the greatest challenges. These quality measures include fully staffing student support services and afterschool programming at these schools as well as granting such schools innovation, pilot, or in-district charter status.
I’m proud to be a part of a group of leaders from neighborhoods across the city who have stepped forward to take a stand for Boston’s children. But we need your help.
If you will stand with us, take a moment to sign on to our letter. If you believe Boston needs to seize this transformative moment, take a minute to share this letter with your friends. We can’t do this without you.
Thank you for your continued support.