While we can all agree that high-quality schools are critical for every student in the Boston Public Schools, it has become clear to me that the lottery system is not the problem and that neighborhood schools are not the solution.
The BPS’s new zone proposal with neighborhood schools is highly problematic. The current walk zone system gives 80 percent of parents one of their top three choices, but the new BPS proposal leaves only some neighborhoods with high-quality schools. While City Councilor John R. Connolly may live in a district with many excellent schools, there are several zones which would be left with 0 percent high-quality schools. (“Parents must demand real change from BPS,” op-ed, Sept. 28.)
The three-zone system that is currently used gives students the most access to good-quality schools, yet there is still considerable divergence between zones and neighborhoods. The solution is to first work towards improving the quality of every school in every zone, not to increase inequality and decrease access to high-performing schools. What is most important is ensuring that children across each and every neighborhood and zone can receive a top-notch education. All children in the city deserve equal access to quality schools.