Posts tagged "the odds be ever in their favor"
April 20, 2012
What do you call a lottery when everyone wins?
An “Oprah moment,” according to operators of the Democracy Prep charter school network. They handed out 550 school seats like they were cars in one fell swoop Thursday night during the network’s annual admissions lottery.
Hundreds of students and their families packed into the basement gym of Democracy Prep High School, eager to find out whether they had won a spot at the middle and elementary schools to which they had applied. They knew that many people who apply to charter schools aren’t selected to attend — an experience that some of them had even had before — but they were hoping to get lucky.
The tension didn’t last long. As the room filled up, Democracy Prep Superintendent Seth Andrew announced that there would be no lottery: Every student who lived in District 4 and District 5 would be admitted.
“You get a seat and you get a seat and you get a seat!” Andrew said, pointing to applauding audience members while offering his best Oprah impression.
“That’s awesome,” said Harold Lilly, whose fifth grade daughter attended a private parochial school. He said when he first came in and saw the hundreds of people vying for spots, he doubted he’d win. “But this is a blessing.”
The surprising turn of events was unusual for charter school lotteries, where the emphasis is often on the large number of applicants and small number of seats. Some charter school networks, including the Success Charter Network, have even done away with public lotteries, citing the huge numbers of disappointed families that would attend them. (more…)