Open Enrollment: Friday Appreciation

Before heading off into the weekend playground sunset, I ran across this recent piece from former California Democratic state legislator and passionate education reformer Gloria Romero. She touts the 2010 Open Enrollment Act she guided through the state legislature to empower parents, explaining how it can be used as a tool to highlight failing schools and help set students free:

Racial restricted housing covenants were barred long ago, freeing us to buy homes in any neighborhood. It’s unthinkable that a “local” health department official would assign your child to a “local” dentist based on your address. Have you ever driven across town to worship at the church or temple of your choice – imagine if your ZIP code was checked at the entrance? As families, we can pack up the car or get on the bus and go to any park we choose for a Sunday outing. Imagine the controversy if officials barricaded the entrance, telling you that this was not your “local” park: admission denied!

So why is the K-12 education system any different? An appropriate reminder that the education system needs jolt after jolt to serve many students to their fullest potential. Colorado has had open enrollment public school choice for nearly two decades longer than California, and there’s still plenty of room left to dream about more school choices and the opportunities they could offer.

Thanks to Romero, Golden State parents have as a tool to survey the open enrollment list. In Colorado, we have more great resources, like the fabulous School Choice for Kids website. Something to celebrate before I take a little time to go play.