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TUSD ranks among best in nation on school choice index

Posted January 8, 2014

Tucson Unified School District ranks No. 9 among 107 large school districts in the nation for its open enrollment policies and practices.

TUSD scored 57 points and earned a B- rating on the Education Choice and Competition Index, which uses 13 criteria to gauge school districts. The rankings were released Wednesday, Jan. 8, by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution.

"As one of only 12 school districts scoring in the 'A' or 'B' range in the 2013 Education Choice and Competition Index, Tucson Unified is clearly a national leader in the movement from zip code to choice-based education," said Russ Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center and author of the index.

The district ranked No. 1 in areas including transportation services, offering alternatives to address-based school assignments (such as magnet schools), closing schools with low attendance and having easily accessible information online.

TUSD also earned points for having a lottery system for open enrollment, providing virtual courses that count toward graduation and offering a variety of courses and learning resources to all students.

The Education Choice and Competition Index is designed to create awareness of the role school choice plays in education reform. It also demonstrates differences in the support of school choice across districts, provides a scale to measure improvement and recognizes districts that are leading the way.

Mesa Unified School District was also included in the survey and was ranked 89th.

To read more about the Education Choice and Competition Index, go to