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Getting Rid Of District Barriers in Omaha (And Elsewhere?)

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Thanks to an eagle-eyed reader for sending me this story about how Omaha is potentially going from being the most racially divided school district in the nation to one of the most integrated -- largely by breaking down the barriers between city and suburban district boundaries (here). What if NCLB did the same, requiring the choice program include neighboring districts as well as schools within the district? Better yet, get rid of city-only urban district boundaries entirely and turn everyone into Charlotte-Mecklenberg, or Miami-Dade, etc.
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Your comments in an earlier post about collaborative reporting and information sharing prompts me to point to another example of the upside of removing school district barriers -- Chattanooga TN.

In an excellent In Perspective piece back in March 2006, Education Week's Bess Keller profiled the reforms in Chattanooga TN. The article, "Charging the Gap," included a sidebar titled "Merger Makes a Difference." Both are available for viewing right now at no cost during Ed Week's freebie weeks. Here's the link to the sidebar:


Both articles offer perspective on the impact of the consolidation of the urban schools of the City of Chattanooga and the suburban schools of Hamilton County TN. Of course, the story of Chattanooga is also a story of extraordinary community involvement and leadership in school improvement, which Bess Keller describes in the main piece.

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