Friday, September 27, 2013

Keeping the Buses Running on Time

Dan Lawlor:

Angel Taveras and Susan Lusi: As a recent "Student Transportation Assessment" flatly stated, "The present method of enrolling students is both inconvenient and confusing for parents." This is after several generations of supposedly rock-star, reform Superintendents. Maybe Mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza's plan to decentralize the central office isn't half bad.

Apparently the bus routes are more SNAFU-ed than usual this year in the PPSD. Unfortunately all the talk about school administrators as "instructional leaders" tends to go out the window when the bus comes an hour late, and it is hard to tell what knock-on effects on Providence's fragile education politics might be, particularly with a mayoral race approaching.

I would certainly note that one good thing about Sue Lusi is that she is not supposedly a rock-star, but a steady hand on the tiller (not that I'm thrilled with the course), and this would not be the best time to turn the district upside down with a Bloombergian structural reform.

Also, you can't really decentralize the transportation system, unless you want something even less parent-friendly, and if you offer more choice -- and more charters -- you're making transportation more difficult and expensive. On the other hand, if you use this as an excuse to push for a more neighborhood schools oriented system (except for magnets and charters), that's another can of worms.

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