New York No. 1 for school choice

A new report rates New York No. 1 in the nation when it comes to school choice, finding that it provided the most freedom to students and parents and the most relevant information on educational performance, The New York Times reports on Wednesday.

But New York still received only a B on the A to F scale used by the Brookings Institution of its evaluation of school choice options. The institution said the city provided the least useful online information for comparing schools and that other districts offered students better virtual-school options and had easier Web sites to understand and navigate.

Under the Bloomberg administration, New York has greatly expanded the choices for parents and students, believing that they should have options, particularly if their local school is performing poorly. And the city has created a multitude of new, smaller high schools, giving students a vast array of choices of location, program, sizes and specialization.

But some parents say that the choices are overwhelming and that the system is difficult to navigate for even the most sophisticated parent and student.

The subject will be explored next week in SchoolBook’s debut community forum, “School Choice: Too Much of a Good Thing?” Brian Lehrer of WNYC will interview Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and moderate a panel of SchoolBook writers and other involved parents and educators.

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