As corporate-supported K-12 education reformers promote school choice, the concept of ‘single applications’ for all schools within a city or district – traditional, charter, for-profit, voucher, on-line, etc. – is also being promoted. The New Orleans ‘One App’ single application system is looked upon as a model, despite significant parent criticism. Boston, MA, and Oakland, CA, are planning to create single-enrollment systems for all traditional public schools and charter schools. These districts might heed warnings outlined by the Center for Reinventing Public Education (a pro-charter not-for-profit organization) before joining New Orleans, Denver, CO, Newark, NJ, and the District of Columbia in a system that may turn the concept of choice into a computer algorithm.
READ about single-enrollment systems here: In Districts With Lots of Choice Simplifying Enrollment Is Not So Easy
READ a NOLA. com article about the Center for Reinventing Public Education report on One App here: 5 One App frustrations: report details parent concerns
Does a single application system serve children, schools and communities well – or does it serve to atomize the student population and break neighborhood bonds that keep school-community connections strong?
One Education Week argument for a One App system is that a “single system is also intended to ease the burden for parents who would otherwise have to juggle multiple applications and deadlines.” However, neighborhood public schools are open to all students who live in the attendance zone. Applications are not needed, although proof of residence may be required. For parents who wish to make other choices in the enrollment-limited, market-based charter school system, doesn’t it follow that applications are then an inevitable part of that choice?
Prothero, A. (2016, February 16). In Districts With Lots of Choice Simplifying Enrollment Is Not So Easy. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/02/17/in-districts-with-lots-of-choice-simplifying.html?qs=single-enrollment system hits hurdles