For Immediate Release
November 29, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s External Advisory Committee on School Choice will continue its work through January as it creates an improved student assignment system for the city’s children and families. The Mayor’s decision supports Superintendent Carol R. Johnson’s recommendation that her technical team work with Professor Parag Pathak, director of the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative (SEII) at MIT, and experts at Harvard's Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. Together, the team will conduct an in-depth analysis on zone-based and non-zone-based models to simulate how families would choose schools under a new system. The analysis is based on several years of assignment data and used to project choice patterns in the future.
“I am impressed by the Committee’s dedication to this important work,” Mayor Menino said. “The EAC has received a number of great ideas from the community throughout this process, and is combining the ‘best of the best’ of everything they have seen. Together we are building something new that will serve our families for many years to come. This close to a successful outcome, I want to ensure the EAC has the time it needs to get it right.”
“We have an opportunity to generate an advanced analysis that will allow us to better predict how families would make choices in the real world,” Superintendent Johnson said. “This is something we have never been able to do before, and we want to give the experts time to do their work well. We have used the current school choice system for nearly 25 years and are glad the Mayor wants us to have the time we need to fully develop the very best plan to replace it.”
The External Advisory Committee on School Choice is a 27-member group of BPS parents, educators, community and business leaders that the Mayor appointed in January to help BPS develop a student assignment plan that puts a focus on equity, school quality and helps students attend school closer to home. It would be implemented for the 2014-15 school year if approved by the Boston School Committee.
“From day one we have focused on a data-driven, transparent process, and this opportunity for additional analysis will only add to the strength of our recommendation,” said EAC co-chairs Boston University School of Education Dean Hardin Coleman and BPS parent Helen Dájer. “We are grateful to the Mayor and Superintendent for giving us the time we need, as well as the opportunity for this cutting edge analysis.”
The technical team will present analysis of models to the EAC in mid-January. After the models are presented, the EAC will continue its community process and make a final recommendation on a new school choice system to the Superintendent. For more information and to get involved, visit bostonschoolchoice.org.