- Three female fugitives wanted in New Jersey restaurant theft arrested in Illinois
- Man guilty in 2012 crash into home that injured 8-year-old
- McDonald’s: Federal complaint says company is joint employer
- T-Mobile settlement: $90M for cell phone bill cramming
- Shelter Care Ministries gets $30,000 grant
- Even more dead bees?
- Holiday travel: 98.6 million plan getaway, most on record
- Scam artists posing as utility reps, demanding payment
- Holiday mailing deadlines approach, Rockford Post Office warns
- Hispanics more than half of all renters, yet most are uninsured
Guest Column: Benefits of choice system for the student assignment
By Lynne (Ditzler) and Patrick Conner
A recent local news broadcast featured a story on the business community’s stance on elementary student assignment in the Rockford School District.
We think it is not only fair but crucial that the Rockford community hears a parent’s stance on elementary student assignment in the Rockford schools. My husband and I are both graduates of Rockford Public Schools and currently have two children enrolled in the district.
We are strong proponents for keeping the current choice system of student assignment as it benefits neighborhoods, schools in the district and the community as a whole.
→ Choice benefits neighborhoods by bringing people across town and racially diversifying school populations. As people attend or visit schools that are not necessarily in their residential neighborhoods; businesses near schools experience increased revenue and a broader customer base.
→ Choice benefits schools in the district with increased parent involvement and student satisfaction. If parents know they can choose from any elementary school in Rockford, they become more invested in their child’s education. Invested parents, in turn, foster motivated students who achieve higher academic goals. Invested parents are also more enthusiastic about volunteering at their child’s school. Conversely, if parents have the burden of dealing with children in two different elementary schools, parent involvement drops off considerably.
→ Choice benefits the community as a whole by making Rockford Public Schools an attractive option to young families considering a move to the northern Illinois area. If families know they have an educational choice in Rockford, they may be less likely to settle in other cities in the region. Additionally, the wide option that the choice system offers encourages parents to choose public school over private school.
The bottom line is more than dollars and cents. The bottom line is providing our children with the best education possible. We firmly believe that the best education is one that puts children first and empowers their parents with a choice of elementary schools. The students and parents are the biggest “clients” of the Rockford Public Schools. Let’s keep their voices in the forefront of elementary student assignment. Let’s keep the choice system and truly make Rockford Public Schools “a world-class education for all children.”
Lynne (Ditzler) Conner and Patrick Conner are both graduates of Auburn High School and Northern Illinois University. Patrick holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and Lynne holds a master’s degree in education from St. Xavier University.
From the Oct. 20-26, 2010 issue