Common Enrollment came up in a recent school board meeting in Oakland, the school district I work in. My job is Community Engagement and as such I work to listen to how the community is receiving information. Well, this conversation around Common Enrollment led to a conversation accusing the process of being a tool for charter schools. Once the work ‘charter’ is evoked, it becomes a new conversation. The term is so charged, so visceral.
To put it simply, common enrollment is an enrollment system that would make the process for finding and selecting schools easier by having parents fill out one ‘common’ form that includes both traditional public schools and charters.
Listen, I’m not pro or anti-charter, I’m pro-child. I don’t care what the delivery system is as long as poor Black kids are being educated. Period. So with that thought, I believe parents should have the access and ability to choose the school that they feel is best for their child. It’s that simple for me. I see common enrollment as a tool for equity. It allows poor parents to have the same footing as someone with means.