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Connolly: School Assignment Plans Still Lacking

The city councilor wants to see the Boston Public Schools system easier to navigate for parents.

While Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is pushing three new proposed student assignment plans, At-Large City Councilor John Connolly said he wants to see more. 

"The EAC [External Advisory Committee on School Choice] has pushed BPS [Boston Public Schools] to offer two creative options that move beyond arbitrary lines on a map. I'm still concerned about the lack of a real plan for quality, the complexity of a system that needs to be easier for parents to navigate, and the likelihood that limited capacity will prevent BPS from offering real close to home options," Connolly told Patch.

School officials offered three options in mid-January, in contrast to the five plans they originally presented last year.  

One option would create 10 community-based zones, designed by school officials "to offer a balance of quality choices no matter where a child lives."

Menino said about this plan, "This approach would give families lots of options while giving them confidence that their choices are all familiar ones."

The other two options are based on an address-based system with no zones. School officials believe these plans are tailored school choices for each individual student. Menino said these plans ensure "every child has high quality choices on his or her list, including schools that are close to home and others that might be a little further away."

The External Advisory Committee on School Choice will hold a public meeting for an update on Monday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. at Orchard Gardens K-8 School, 906 Albany St., Roxbury. BPS will present the latest options and the EAC will invite public comment.

To learn more and to get involved, visit bostonschoolchoice.org.

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