Sunday, October 01, 2006

No Child Left Behind and School Assignment?

Got this question from a blog reader:

"I was wondering if you knew anything about ESEA ("No Child Left Behind" Act) and how it impacts school assignment in Seattle. Our friends have a kid at Madrona K-8, and they recently received a letter from their principal informing them that, due to Madrona's poor performance under ESEA, they have the opportunity to transfer their child immediately to either Leschi or Stephens. Now, Leschi I can understand, since it's under-enrolled. But Stevens? Isn't it full?"

Anyone know whether students getting reassigned from "failing" schools according to ESEA get preference for student assignment? I've sent this post to Tracy Libros, Enrollment Services Manager as well. If I get a response, I'll post it in the comments here.


Anonymous said...

Students who accept the offer of re-assignment as a result of ESEA sanctions do NOT get priority assignments at their new school. The usual tie-breakers are in place.

The NCLB act is, in a number of ways, disingenuous. This is but one of them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Charlie. So what you're saying is that in the next few weeks (since students have the option to move immediately), a mini round of student reassignment would take place, with all the usual tie-breakers? And this is assuming that the number of available spots is limited? None of this has been communicated to the parents, as far as I know.

Anonymous said...

Ummm... there usually isn't much reassignment as a result of NCLB, just a handful of students across the district.

I suspect any students requesting re-assignment under NCLB would just go into the appropriate place on the waitlist for the school of their choice. If the school has available space, I would reckon that the kids are simply assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

I don't know if more people would take advantage of re-assignment under NCLB if they were offered more attractive choices, but the District is under no obligation to offer an attractive choice, just schools that are not under similar sanctions. There is no guarantee - nor any need for a guarantee - that there is space available at those schools.

Strictly speaking, the District could offer Montlake and then tell everyone who requests it that there is no space available.

As I wrote, the NCLB act is, in a number of ways, disingenuous. This is but one of them.