How many suburban students actually choose to go to Hartford under ‘reverse choice’?

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The Sport and Medial Sciences Academy, a Hartford magnet school.

At TrendCT, we wanted to look at how many suburban students attend Hartford Public Schools under the “reverse open choice” program.

That program is one of three approaches the state has used to comply with a Supreme Court case order requiring Hartford schools to be integrated. The reverse open choice program allows suburban students to attend Hartford Public Schools that have not been targeted through court settlement for integration. Hartford Public Schools also run magnet schools, where suburban families are able to apply; they aren’t included in this data. It also does not include CREC schools, which both Hartford and suburban students can attend — but are largely located outside of Hartford. Given this subset of schools, we found that in the reverse choice program:

  • Students from about 30 surrounding suburbs have the option to attend a Hartford Public School, which encompasses about 67,000 students, if we’re using 2014-15 enrollment numbers.
  • And of those students, 1,879 applied to attend a neighborhood school run by Hartford Public Schools for the 2015-16 school year.
  • Hartford Public Schools extended offers to 195 of those students.
  • Only about half, or 99, accepted the offer.

Offer and acceptance rates for suburban students applying to non-magnet Hartford Public Schools
School Applications Offers Acceptances
Law/Government Academy at Hartford Public High School 103 22 10
Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School 466 12 7
High School, Inc. 52 19 7
Engineering/Green Technology Academy at Hartford Public High School 98 24 9
Sarah J. Rawson Elementary School 172 18 10
Global Communications Academy 749 45 20
Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy 133 26 18
Nursing and Health Sciences Academy at Hartford Public High School 106 29 18
Totals 1,879 195 99

As noted above, this only includes schools run by Hartford Public Schools.

At least a quarter of the approximately 7,200 students in CREC schools were suburban students last school year.

We have previously covered this topic with charts and maps at the Mirror. Click here to read that story.

This national conversation about racial integration may continue as, this fall, minorities will outnumber white students in U.S. public school. Meanwhile, there are still major achievement gaps between minorities and white students.

In Connecticut, the racial isolation is still prevalent. In addition, the achievement gap is massive when it comes to test scores; far fewer minorities graduate high school; and more minorities live in high-need areas, where college diplomas are rare.

Correction: An earlier version of this story was unclear about which schools the data is talking about. These are Hartford Public Schools that have not been targeted through court settlement for integration.

What do you think?

  • JOHN B

    If the goal is to increase white/suburban students going to city schools (and huge sums of money are spent for this purpose) how can you even write an article which does not ask the obvious question:

    Why are so few students who want to go to Hartford schools accepted? 1,879 apply and only 195 accepted. This obviously keeps the schools more segregated.
    What is the criteria? Who makes these decisions?
    Is this another example of an education system run by highly paid “educators’ who accomplish very little and complain very much?