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Got a question for the DOE?

The Department of Education introduced a new feature today on its website:

We’ve identified some topics that parents frequently ask us about and we have lined up a series of key education officials to provide answers. We will post the answers online so that you and other New Yorkers can learn more about our public schools.

The site includes a simple form which asks for your name and email address, along with borough and school information, although users can choose whether they want this information published along with their questions, and are free to submit questions anonymously. Those who include an email address may receive personal responses in addition to the answers published on the site.

The first set of questions, about the high school admissions process, will be answered by Evaristo Jimenez, a former NYC teacher and principal who is now executive director of high school admissions.

Andy Jacob of the DOE press office says the department has been considering creating this new feature for some time. “If I had to point to one thing that convinced us to try it on our own site, it’d be the Q&A about pre-K enrollment we did on the Times City Room blog a few months ago… which was pretty well received,” he said.

This new feature is an important step to improving communication between the DOE and the public. My suggestion is that they store the questions and answers in a searchable archive, to make it easy for future users to find information.

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