The Boston school board is unlikely to make any dramatic changes to the district’s student-assignment plan until the 2006-07 school year, a decision that comes after months of heated community meetings that explored ways to retool the policy.
Leaders of the 63,000-student district were looking to rein in costs on an expensive busing program, and respond to some parents’ wishes for more neighborhood schools, when they convened a task force of parents, academics, and advocates to study the issue. (“Assignment Debate Stirs Emotions in Boston,” June 16, 2004.)
But on Oct. 27, Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant recommended changes to the panel that did not include major revisions to student-assignment zones. Instead, he called for increasing the number of K-8 schools; establishing consistent measures of school quality; and crafting a communication strategy to help provide parents with better information about the assignment policy and school choices.