To maintain program integrity and reduce mandatory transfers for students, seats are reserved for special education and bilingual students. This may result in fewer available classrooms for the socioeconomic plan lotteries but increases stability for students who are enrolled in special services and who often are mandatorily reassigned from year to year when programs are relocated to accommodate increased student enrollment in neighborhood schools. With the number of classrooms, student population estimates, and seats placed aside for bilingual or special-needs students in place, district class size is selected.
Selection of class size is based on several factors—contractual terms with teachers, educational pedagogical concerns such as providing for smaller class sizes at primary grades, or responses to low achievement test results at certain grades. Setting a districtwide class size limits or prevents overcrowding and answers the underutilization and overutilization questions that plague many districts and often lead to divisive school closures.
Populations ebb and flow for a host of reasons, leaving empty seats in formerly densely populated neighborhoods and schools and too few seats in formerly sparsely populated ones. By allowing school choice, parents, students, and educators are not left with arbitrary lines to keep students behind.
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Students may naturally flow to available seats through the choice process, reducing burdens of overcrowded classrooms for teachers and mandatory student reassignments. Even after using an initial districtwide class size to enroll schools under choice, the process allows for changes in class size. With any sudden influx of students, class size is increased at each grade level by one student, then two, and so on at each school. This permits distribution of students among multiple schools and prevents overcrowding in neighborhood schools.
For example, if a school district sets class size at 30 students during the lottery phase, it may subsequently raise it to 31 to spread out the increase in student enrollment rather than placing burdens on any one particular school. If the influx of students persists throughout the school year, the district may again raise the class size from 31 to Grandfathering and Mobility. Grandfathering avoids difficulties caused by wholesale implementation of a choice-based student assignment plan.
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Students already enrolled in a school maintain their school assignments and only students new to the school district are enrolled through choice one year at a time by grade level, that is, kindergarten in —15, kindergarten in —16, and so on, until schools are fully enrolled by choice. Whether or not families move, students are usually permitted to stay at their choice school once they are enrolled.
For districts with high mobility rates that may drag down achievement levels, this is an added advantage. For elementary students attending schools more than 1. Although more students may require transportation under a choice system, these costs should not serve as a deterrent and are outweighed by educational benefits. Moreover, in some cases transportation costs are defrayed through federal or state funding associated with magnet and theme schools.
With traditional neighborhood school assignment policies, neighborhoods are often arbitrarily drawn or defined within a political process pitting the proverbial haves against the have-nots. Depending on the community, this may involve lines drawn to preserve affluent white communities and isolate communities of color or low-income neighborhoods.
Choice is a fundamental precept of a socioeconomic student assignment plan, empowering and engaging parents, guardians, and students in the educational process. Parents are positioned to choose the best environment for their students.
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Through choice, parents and students are more invested and have a more significant stake in the schools they select. The process of choice is a revealing one. When schools are consistently underselected during the choice, districts must examine and address the reasons. Choice may lead to changes in leadership, theme, or instruction at specific schools that would not otherwise occur when families have no say in where children attend school.
For families without the means to move homes from one neighborhood to another, socioeconomic plans provide the capacity to achieve the same result—better educational opportunities. Two critical components of a socioeconomic student assignment process are information and transparency. Either through a centralized family information center, online portals, information distributed through each school, or a combination of strategies, parents are encouraged to review school information—ranging from results on statewide achievement tests to discipline and climate profiles—to assist in selecting the right choices for their families.
Underlying socioeconomic plan mechanics are several components that increase the overall quality of school districts. Class-size stabilization accompanied by consideration of school populations requiring particular programmatic needs, a certain degree of interschool competitiveness, and an overarching level of planning school theme selection and school placement are required for a successful socioeconomic student assignment plan. The correlation between low income and race is significant. This is because our items are shipped from different locations.
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How Racially Diverse Schools and Classrooms Can Benefit All Students
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Boosting Achievement by Pursuing Diversity - Educational Leadership
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