During Monday's news briefing on the plan, Tata spent the majority of the time talking about the blue plan. Relatively little mention was made of the green plan.
"The blue plan seems to be a better fit but I don’t want to prejudice anybody," Tata said when asked if he had a favorite. "The public may have a different perspective.
The research shows that the real issue is growth. Growth has broken the boundaries. We’ve had to reassign children from schools year after year. The blue plan seems to give you a little bit better stability and elasticity to growth. The key is can we get the math right.”
Tata said that the blue plan has also gotten a more favorable response when it's been shared with teachers and school administrators.
None of the school board members who are publicly talking about the plans is saying either option is bad.
But all the GOP school board members, except for Debra Goldman, are saying a lot more positive things about the blue plan than the green plan. Goldman isn't yet commenting on whether the lack of base assignments in the blue plan is a deal breaker for her like it was in October.
"The blue plan to me seems more visionary, kind of looking ahead, being more proactive instead of a reactive plan," said GOP school board member Deborah Prickett.
Prickett said the green plan is workable. But like other choice plan supporters, she says base assignments like those in the green place make it less able to provide stability and deal with growth.
GOP School board member John Tedesco said that while the green plan would give some guarantees up front with a base assignment, there are no guarantees at the back end about not being reassigned.
"I do think that the problem we’ve had for a long time is growth and to manage stability in the face of growth I think can sometimes be challenging when you have to make the base assignments initially, because you have to sometimes trigger reassignment which was causing the problems in the past here," Tedesco said.
Tedesco said the blue plan provides more choice for families.
"The tradeoff is you have to be a little more flexible on the front end," Tedesco said of using a choice plan. "A few won’t get their first choice or second, but once they are in, they can stay in if they want and won’t be reassigned."
Republican school board member Chris Malone said that he likes the blue plan more than the green one even though he said the latter is more familiar to people.
"The blue plan puts the parents in charge," Malone said.
But Malone said that if they adopt the blue plan they'll need to address a point raised by Goldman that Policy 6200 requires base assignments. The one reference to base assignments in the policy is under the choice section where it says "students may apply for a school other than their base assignment."
GOP school board chairman Ron Margiotta said he'd lean toward the blue plan but that changes need to be made before a final plan is adopted.
It was the Democrats who backed Goldman in October when she pointed to the lack of base assignments to kill the plan that was being developed by Tedesco.
Democratic school board member Keith Sutton said both plans have good points but he prefers the green plan. He said that the green plan provides more predictability for parents and schools.
In the case of schools, Sutton said the green plan would make it easier for schools to know how many students they'll have when it comes to determining teacher staffing.
While not reflected in the October vote, Democratic school board member Carolyn Morrison has been more willing to abandon the use of base assignments than the other Democrats. She said she liked the stability that would come from the blue plan and the resulting impact on student achievement.
"As a former principal I know that if I could have children for three years, I could teach them, I could make them a family," Morrison said. "You could know the children, know the families and they could achieve better. But if you’ve got children coming and going, coming and going all the time and you never really get to know the families, it’s hard."
Democratic school board member Anne McLaurin said the blue plan was "more interesting" than the green plan but she likes both. She said they'd need to do a better job of educating parents of rising kindergartners if they switched to a choice model.
"You could make either plan work very well," McLaurin said.