D.C. Parents Satisfied with Choice, Time for Colorado Open Enrollment

Updated with more specific information about open enrollment

Some things we learn about the world of education seem so obvious, yet when we hear about them they really seem to trigger a “light bulb” moment. Here is one in a press release from the University of Arkansas’s School Choice Demonstration Project:

Parents report that having a choice of where to send their children to school boosts their satisfaction with and involvement in schools, a study of the publicly funded school voucher program in Washington, D.C., has found.

You can hear some of the D.C. parents speak for themselves at the Voices of School Choice website.

If there’s one thing we know with great confidence about school choice, it’s that parents who participate find great satisfaction with the opportunity. Parents overwhelmingly respond well to the consumer empowerment that comes with school choice, in part by getting more actively involved in their child’s education. The four-year focus group work of Patrick Wolf and his Arkansas team just have made that clearer than ever.

And should we be surprised? Do you like being a savvy consumer when it comes to purchasing cars, clothes, electronics, or Legos (I had to throw that last one in there)? What about for home repair or home improvement services, or a hundred other things? Why should something as important as a child’s education be any different and not receive the same attention?

Here in Colorado, the groundbreaking School Choice for Kids website remains an impressive and indispensable tool for parents who want to find a better educational opportunity for their child and have to navigate through the public school open enrollment process. As savvy consumers, they can come to demand more and more choices.

The timing couldn’t be more important. In order to find a new school for 2009-10, parents are facing January deadlines from many area school districts in order to get into the first round of choice applications. For example, Jeffco Public Schools has a January 24 deadline, and Denver Public Schools has a January 30 deadline. Those are coming up soon! Find out open enrollment information for more school districts here. Now is the time to apply or be left out of the opportunity for another year.