School Choice for All


School Choice for All

cropped-oneapp-pic1While most of the education-related news coming out of Philadelphia lately has been about school closures similar to those just announced in Chicago, there is other work going on that has the potential to dramatically expand access to school choice for the city’s families, particularly the city’s most disadvantaged families who might otherwise be left out. The Inquirer reported last week on a nascent effort to create a single, unified school choice process for all of the city’s public school’s, both district and charter. The work is part of the Great Schools Compact for the Philadelphia Schools Partnership, an ongoing effort to increase collaboration between the city’s school district and its 80+ charter schools, and is modeled on similar efforts in Denver and New Orleans. The goal is to simplify the school choice process for parents and students by joining together dozens of different application processes and enrollment lotteries that they must now navigate, into one, coordinated system of choice with one, common application and a single enrollment lottery. In Denver, where there were previously more than sixty unique applications and multiple overlapping processes  there is now a one page form for choosing one of more than 160 public school in the city. Ideally, a unified system in Philadelphia will not just be easier for families already taking advantage of choice, but also for the city’s most disadvantaged and disenfranchised who might otherwise be left out, making school choice in the city more equitable and transparent for all.