Insights and Trends in Student Enrollment

School Choice Isn’t Real if Parents Don’t Get Help

Posted January 13, 2016

Tim Daly, Ed Navigator, January 13, 2016


After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans switched from default school zones to an all-choice elementary and secondary school system. Families must review their school options and submit a ranked list through OneApp, the city’s centralized enrollment system. This system attempts to treat each applicant with maximum fairness, and takes into account a number of factors before returning a single school assignment.

Despite the centralization of the process, parents and schools still face many problems, such as limited seating, figuring out which schools to apply to, and physical relocation of schools. Seats are limited, and many schools receive more applications than they have seats available. Researching and determining what schools to apply to can also be difficult for parents; different students have different needs, and school statistics can sometimes be misleading. Newer schools also have a tendency to move around, to accommodate growth, which also complicates the research process.

Parents need assistance when it comes to navigating these challenges. Often research is difficult, especially when a family’s main means of internet access is through cell phone. Low-income families also often don’t have a lot of free time to dedicate to such research. Help needs to be accessible and available to families, even if they don’t have time to seek out and take advantages of the already available resources.

Read the full article on the Ed Navigator blog.

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