A report released last week tries to determine which school districts offer the friendliest environments for school choice and competition. It puts New York City, Chicago, and Duval County, Fla., at the top of the list.
The first two of those districts earn a B grade, while the third takes a B-minus on the, created by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. Orange County, Fla., Philadelphia, and Dallas show up at or near the bottom.
Districts were judged on a variety of factors, including: availability of alternative educational choices, such as charters, magnets, and reasonably priced private schools; consistency of application processes and deadlines; whether public and private schools were required to take part in comparable assessments; and availability of transportation to schools of choice.
Districts are also judged by the extent to which they allow for the closing or restructuring of an unpopular school; whether they provide information on gains in student achievement at various schools; and the accessibility of online information that allows parents to make school-to-school comparisons.
A version of this article appeared in the December 07, 2011 edition of Education Week as School Choice