Choice bad in Hamilton

Stuff reports:

Hundreds of students are on waiting lists for Hamilton’s most popular high schools while others are struggling to fill their rolls before the start of term.

Competition for positions at the city’s most in-demand schools has seen some families move house to skip the queue.

However, the blatant preference for some schools over others has renewed calls for parents to send their children to the school closest to home.

“There are unfortunate consequences from school choice and I think you’re seeing that potentially play out in the Waikato,” Post Primary Teachers’ Association president Angela Roberts said.

Flight from one school – “which isn’t necessarily because the school is any worse than the school they’re flying to” – is often based on perception, rather than reality, she said.

But often it isn’t. There is a reason parents want Hamilton Boys’ High School over Fairfield College.

Zoning is stupid, because it still preserves choice – it just restricts it to wealthy people who can buy or rent in the right zone.

I’m all for choice. But for those against choice, I have a solution they should promote.

All students in a city get randomly assigned to a school within say 10 kms of them. No choice at all.

If choice is such a bad thing, with parents making decisions based on perception, this policy would stop it. I look forward to it being Labour or Green party policy!

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