Era of growing school choice finds parents seeking consultants' expertise
- Using consulting services to choose schools — a practice typically associated with parents weighing private school options — is becoming more common among public school parents as the variety of choices in some communities continues to expand, according to an NPR article.
- One consultant says she tries to make sure parents are making the best use of their time, visiting the schools their children are most likely to get into and that would be a good match.
- Some say that these emerging services are deepening the divide between parents who can afford them and those who can’t, but in some communities, parents and nonprofit organizations are working together to spread awareness about the range of options available.
In communities with a lot of school choice, school administrators may need to begin marketing what their schools have to offer to those who are helping parents navigate the increasing range of options. This could also mean forming stronger connections with the early-childhood education community to reach parents who are at the beginning of making decisions about pre-K and kindergarten.
In Tennessee’s Shelby County Schools, the district saw an enrollment increase after training principals how to market their schools and focus on retaining the students they already have. And in a post for Education Next earlier this year, Arun Ramanathan, the CEO of Pivot Learning, wrote that school leaders should focus on their “customers” (the parents) and find out the features that they want most in their children's schools.
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