Earlier today on WAMU, Washington’s local NPR station, Kojo Nnamdi hosted a discussion on a major issue facing parents in the D.C. region and around the country. As some popular schools become overburdened—and others face under-enrollment—districts contend with the process of redrawing school boundaries. This is a hugely controversial issue for families, some of whom have changed schools several times already.
One possible alternative to shifting boundaries is to, as Mike Petrilli points out during the show, “sever this link between a parent’s zip code and their child’s educational opportunities” by eliminating traditional school borders altogether. He noted that many students in the District of Columbia—almost 50 percent—are already attending charter schools, while another 25 percent attend traditional public schools out-of-boundary.
Abigail Smith, an independent ed-reform consultant and former chief of DCPS’s transformation office, shared her knowledge of the technical difficulties and opportunities that school choice afford parents. An interesting conversation ensues—be sure to check it out!