Officials Propose 5 Ways To Reform Boston's Student Assignment System

Boston Public School officials will present five proposals Monday that seek to dramatically overhaul the way students are assigned to elementary and secondary schools, possibly ending four decades of cross-city busing.

The overhaul aims to allow students to attend schools closer to home, something Superintendent Carol Johnson says parents have been requesting.

"We want to make sure that families get what they want," Johnson said. "But we also know we have to have quality teaching in every classroom, and academic rigor in every classroom so students get ready for post-secondary."

Officials will present the proposals to the public Monday night at Dorchester's Lilla Frederick Pilot Middle School in the first of a series of public meetings on the topic. Johnson says she expects the community will have strong opinions on the topic.

"We really look forward to a really healthy and meaningful discussion with the community about these choices and these options," Johnson said. "And hopefully a system that's less complex and less confusing and more predictable. That's what families want."

In January, Mayor Thomas Menino promised during his State of the City address that by 2013 the city would adopt a "radically different student assignment plan" that "puts a priority on children attending schools closer to their homes."

The new assignments would go into effect in 2014.


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