Supply-side economics, school-choice-style
New York City is known for its public-school-choice programs, particularly at the high school level. Students may test into a number of specialized schools (like Stuyvesant or Brooklyn Latin) or try their hand at the lotteries for small learning communities (like Robeson), charter schools (like Harlem Village Academy), and transfer schools (grades 10-12 schools for at-risk students, like Harvey Milk). But a labyrinthine application process, voluminous yet murky information available to parents, and 78,000 students applying for placement each year (for perspective, that’s the total K-12 enrollment in the District of Columbia), means a good number of applicants end up disappointed on “match” day. For the 2010-11 school year, Gotham failed to place about 10 percent of its students in one of their preferred schools (students could select up to twelve), forcing them to enroll at a less desirable neighborhood school. Fundamentally this is a supply problem: Gotham needs more great schools. In the meantime, however, the city’s residents need information aimed at students and parents—especially those from disadvantaged communities—information both about school choices and about how the process works.
“Lost in the School Choice Maze,” by Liz Robbins, New York Times, May 6, 2011.
blog comments powered by Disqus