Pinellas choice: Good or bad?
So here you are again, or perhaps it’s your first time. You’re trying to get your child into a Pinellas County public school next year. Or maybe you’re a student going through the process on your own. This is your place to share, to vent. (You should know that School Board members read this blog, and they're planning to change the choice plan soon.)
Tell us about your choice nightmare. Tell us where you thought things went well.
First, some fodder for discussion.
If you’re one of the thousands of families who recently applied for a "countywide" program – a magnet, a fundamental school or a career academy – we know many of you have already called the choice application line this week to see how you fared. We know you have a story about not getting into the program you wanted. Or you're sweating it out on a waiting list. Or you have an elaborate strategy for playing out your choice options in the coming weeks.
Let’s hear it.
And what does everyone think about the ideas that were advanced recently by a Pinellas task force on choice? One idea is to expand popular programs like magnets and fundamentals, which annually say no to hundreds of disappointed families each year. Another task force idea is to combine the application periods for "regular" schools and "countywide" schools. The current system of two periods can get complicated and often forces parents into a contorted set of options.
Have at it.
- Tom Tobin, Pinellas education reporter