While Utahns have voiced their skepticism about private school vouchers at the ballot box, many Utah parents take advantage of the option to choose among public schools – at least along the Wasatch front, where there are enough schools to make choice a viable option.
Education Week reports on how New York City successfully revamped its choice program for public high schools.
“Of the small number of cities that permit students to select their public schools, most make school choice optional and relatively few families participate. New York City has taken the bold step of requiring rising 9th graders to select their high schools, a strategy that has created a far more vibrant public school marketplace than exists anywhere else in the country.”
The article continues, “the number of New York high school options has tripled in a generation, thanks in part to former Chancellor Joel I. Klein’s replacement of many of the city’s dysfunctional comprehensive high schools with smaller alternatives, and today students are able to select schools with themes ranging from animal science to architecture, hands-on engineering, film, Latin, and expeditionary learning.”
Many of my readers have called for more parental involvement. Requiring parents and students to choose high schools – and therefore investigate options – would almost certainly lead parents to ask more questions about what schools offer and what results they produce. What do you think?