From the May 17 FCPN newsletter ... I'd love to hear your thoughts!
I try to be a booster for city schools. I think a lot of great things can happen, and are happening, in city schools. But the District doesn't make it easy to sing its praises!
In the six years since the District's school choice program was rolled out, it has been plagued by delays in getting placement results out. In some years, families have waited until August to find out where their children will be attending school. Last year, kindergarten and high school lottery results came out in the end of June (after parents were told they'd know by the end of May.) Many sixth graders did not find out which high school they had gotten into until after school was out for the summer.
Parents have brought this to the District's attention year after year. In the fall, parents from the Flower City Parents Network met with District officials and were told that the District was committed
to releasing placement results by April 30. Based on past experience, we were hesitant. Was that a definite date? Should we publicize it? Yes, the officials said, the date was hard and fast! Even the anticipated openings and closings of high schools wouldn't delay it.
So here we are -- May 17 -- and there are no lottery results for kindergarten or high school. (Some high schools that handle their own admissions, such as SOTA and World of Inquiry, have sent out placements.)
Right now the district is saying the end of May. Forgive us if we do not hold our breath.
We understand that there are many significant changes going on in the District that affect schedules and deadlines and the whole placement process. But there are significant changes EVERY YEAR. Many of them - like the high school closings and openings - can be predicted, even if the specifics are late in coming. If the District can't get the results out until June, then don't tell parents they're coming out in April!
The continual missed deadlines destroy any credibility the District has. For many parents of incoming kindergartners, it is their first contact with the District, and it is not a happy one. The delay makes it that much more likely that those with options such as charter schools or Catholic or other private schools will take the opportunity to leave the District. In many cases, they will never come back. As a parent wrote on the forum, "This is the behavior and attitude that causes those for sale signs to pop up."
We fight hard to keep families in the District and to let people know there is excellence here to be found. It would be nice if we weren't fighting the District itself!
(If you want to comment on the Mayor Duffy saga, that's at:http://flowercityparents.org/forum/index.php?topic=1087.msg4143#msg4143