Centralized Enrollment in Recovery School District Gets First Tryout”

Times-Picayune; April 16, 2012

Somewhere inside the jum­ble of nar­row beige cor­ri­dors on Poland Avenue in the Upper 9th Ward, in the state-run Recovery School District’s head­quar­ters, some­one will hit a but­ton on a com­put­er in the next few weeks, and presto: Almost all of the rough­ly 28,000 stu­dents in New Orleans who applied for a seat this fall at one of the dis­tric­t’s 67 schools will be assigned a place. With that final key­stroke, the school sys­tem will move for the first time from a frus­trat­ing, ad-hoc enroll­ment process han­dled at indi­vid­ual cam­pus­es to one cen­tral­ized at dis­trict offices.  Every child will get a spot. But because schools don’t have an infi­nite num­ber of seats and some schools will doubt­less prove more pop­u­lar than oth­ers, not every fam­i­ly will get their top pick…  For par­ents, there are some key ideas to keep in mind. The experts who devel­oped the algo­rithm -- folks from Duke, Harvard and MIT -- say there is no way to game the sys­tem. If what you real­ly want is a seat at KIPP Renaissance High School, you should not rank Sci Academy first, think­ing that you’re more like­ly to get your sec­ond choice. Ranking KIPP as your top choice gives you your best shot at get­ting in.”



By Andrew Vanacore