Schoolyard News spends some time with the recent report that analyzed the performance of BPS's five-year-old school-assignment system, the one that was supposed to improve choices for parents and their kids, but didn't if they weren't white or Asian-American.
Bottom line: If you screw with a computer program, you need to make sure it still works.
The whole thing fell apart because of problems assigning students for sixth grade - not all BPS elementary schools go that high. So the authors tinkered with the algorithm and came up with new assignment lists, but then didn't check any of the resulting assignment lists actually still had good schools on them:
Most amazing: Apparently no human being checked to see that the system was working as intended.
The result was that many children applying to new schools for sixth grade had no MCAS tier 1 schools on their lists. That was true for more than half the sixth grade applicants from Jamaica Plain and Roslindale and more than a third of those from Roxbury.