The Exam School Choice, #15: A mystery solved…sort of

Devil in the detailsThe Parent Imperfect got many questions (both online and offline) about the last post about how students get placed in the exam schools. Some people reported to me that they had put BLA first, but had gotten placed in BLS. This was a bit of an eye-opener, since other people said that they had chosen BLS first and gotten placed in BLA. What’s up? How is that possible, unless someone is doing the ropa’ dopa’ with this process?

One of these folks got back to me with an interesting explanation of how that happened, in her case.. When this woman investigated with the exam school people at the BPS, it turns out that the BPS never received the choice form for this student. The school had record of it being handed in, but it never got to Court St (Dudley, I guess, by this time). I had to chuckle as this is exactly what happened with our dear daughter, not once, but TWICE! Why do we bother filling out these forms?

In any case, when the BPS doesn’t have a choice form for a child that has taken the test, they have a default order of preference that they enter for him/her. It is: 1. BLS 2. BLA 3. O’Bryant. Isn’t that an interesting assumption? In any case, this child was assigned to BLS because that’s what the District assumed she wanted. Happily, because her mother is metida, this child is now high on the waiting list for BLA, and will likely get in there. All’s well that ends well, right??????

That explains this case, but what about the others?

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8 Comments

Filed under Boston Public Schools, Exam Schools

8 responses to “The Exam School Choice, #15: A mystery solved…sort of

  1. One reader on Facebook asked the great question of “Since when do the exam schools have waiting lists?” She’s right. They don’t have waiting lists. You are assigned a school and that’s it. Perhaps one of our readers from the BPS can enlighten us on this point. The District bungled this child’s assignment and should find a way to make it right, but a waiting list should be a public, transparent exercise that is open to all who didn’t get their first choice.

  2. Amy Sullivan

    I believe it is a transfer list, not a wait list. If that helps. I am a parent (very imperfect) that filled in the wrong block and now my son is in at BLA and we wanted BLS – so maybe they can work with the transfer list and make a few kids happy. I am keeping fingers, toes, legs and arms crossed.

    • Thanks, Amy. Maybe you should just work out a switch with my friend. That makes sense…a transfer list. But I don’t think they ever let on about anything like that when we were in this process. I’m sorry to hear about your own assignment frustrations, but don’t be too hard on yourself about it. Good luck!

  3. Sue O.

    Hi – is there an opportunity to transfer from one exam HS to another exam HS? We got our #2 – O’Bryant, but just concerned about learning/teaching styles. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the question, Sue. This is one that is on many people’s minds right now. In an earlier message here, there was talk about a “transfer list,” but I fear that this list is for students who wish to move because they were placed in their current school in error. Also, it used to be possible to work to move from a more “oversubscribed” school to one that is less “oversubscribed,” but I sense that even this is more difficult now. I would call Ms. Vieira at the BPS and ask what options exist. I expect she’ll tell you that the time to transfer is at the point of entering ninth grade.

      • Sue O.

        Thanks, I’m more curious than interested in moving my kid. What a fascinatingly oblique process.

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