3boys, I agree that needy children should get preference when it comes to transfers. On further reflection, and my own issues aside, I think the problem with this program is that it's all about the schools. "Improve the SCHOOLS and we'll have well educated kids." Education is a two-way street. You need good teachers, but you also need support at home. How will a child learn if s/he is given no encouragment at home? If s/he is never read to, is never allowed to explore the things that interest her? What is the Bush administration doing to help at-risk families in the crucial period from birth to kindergarten age? Do poor families have access to good quality, educational child care? Is there any attempt at the federal level to improve adult literacy? In other words, putting the neediest children in the best schools might not help them very much if their home environments are not conducive to learning.
Ms. Mom, you never know, maybe your kids won't be forced out just because mine were. Do your kids attend school in a totally different town, or just in different neighborhoods within your city? In our system, even though city families are no longer allowed to transfer, non-city residents are still allowed to send their children to city schools for a nominal fee. (And, believe me, many county families take advantage of this policy.) There is no talk of banning them when NCLB goes into effect.
And, Applejuice, homeschool is exactly what I'm going to do with my youngest child, but at great financial cost. We'd been counting on my return to work to help us financially.