QOD: Common Enrollment Offers a “Simple Reform” that Increases Access for Low-Income Families

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Marcus Winters notes that “the rapid expansion of charters has done more to spread high quality education in America’s cities than perhaps any other modern reform. And yet, the way charters enroll students could be improved.”  Enrollment collaboration among all of a city’s public schools, both traditional and public, offers more equitable access. One of Winters’ examples is Newark:

Common-enrollment systems also produce vastly improved information about parental perceptions of school quality. Currently, districts can rate schools based on test scores or they can ask for parent feedback. They otherwise have little reliable information about what parents truly think. A common-enrollment system can help policymakers understand how parents view particular schools. In Newark, New Jersey, which employs such a system, half of all K-8 applicants listed North Star Academy Charter School as a preference, and 40 percent listed TEAM Charter Schools (affiliated with the popular KIPP network). The district reported that each of the Top Seven options listed by Newark parents were charter schools. That’s powerful data showing just how much local parents value charters.

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