Improve Transparency And Fairness Of The Kindergarten Lottery And Enrollment Processlast updated: Nov. 28, 2022, 2:26 a.m.
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The kindergarten lottery process in Cambridge is t
Last Updated: Nov. 1, 2013, 8:50 a.m.The kindergarten lottery process in Cambridge is too complex and lacks School Committee oversight. This creates 2 risks: first, this complexity leads families to opt-out of our schools; and second, the complexity creates space for a lack of transparency in the process, which in turn increases the chances that the enrollment process lacks fairness. For example, once 1st-5th grade classrooms have at least 44 seats filled, the remaining 6 seats are left open (or filled) at the judgement of the COO of the Superintendent and when he decides to offer a seat to a student on the wait list. In addition, SES percentages that determine if seats are assigned are based on target class sizes (44 for 1st-5th), not actual class sizes, which can deviate from the target of 44. Whether the actual class size is higher or lower has implications for who is able to go to their choice school and who is shut out, as does the judgement of the Superintendent's COO office. School Committee members should understand the nuances of this process, exert more oversight over the office of the Superintendent in the implementation of the process, and work to simplify the process to ensure transparency and fairness for all families going through the kindergarten lottery and enrollment process.
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