NPR

Confused By Your Public School Choices? Hire A Coach

Public school choice options can be overwhelming for parents. As they try to navigate these new education systems, some parents are turning to experts for help.
Source: Roman Muradov for NPR

Erin Roth faced a tough choice in 2015. She needed to select a school for one of her two daughters. And in Washington, D.C., where she lives, she faced a dizzying array of traditional and charter schools from which to choose.

It's a familiar problem for parents in areas with a lot of school choice: charter, magnet, traditional, progressive, project-based, Montessori, STEM, STEAM, immersion ... the list goes on.

So in her search for a public school, Roth did what parents seeking to get into the best private schools have done for years: She hired a consultant.

It's a relatively new job title in the public school realm. But there are now — in a growing number of cities and districts as school choice has expanded nationwide — people who've made it their business, literally, to help parents find the right fit. They offer a range of services at a wide range of prices, but basically they're offering to

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