Geographical zoning of schools is one of those 50-50 problems; if educators impose it they're wrong; if they don't do so - they're still wrong.
As a watcher only now, I see a possible both-and solution.
Require compulsory zoning for "general purpose" schools [Currently all elementary and most
Allow no-zoning however, for approved special-theme schools.
ANZ [allowed no zone] schools would put general subjects in second place to a dominant special theme e.g. initially sporting activities, such as rowing, or golf, or chess. [E.g. by having an Academy of Golf].
Even with zoning in place this trend is clearly visible in the muddy water of the zoning debate, causing even more stirring by outzoned parents.
"Why should Greenhill High be allowed to have an Academy of Spanish when my kids can't even go there ... etc. they say.
Yes I foresee a time when ANZ schools will select a non-sporting specialty to become well-
Here's a local example : a state intermediate school [no pupil older than 12] specialises in - wait for it - bacteriology and recently won all the top prizes at a technology fair expecting adult students only to enter.
taughtt by dedicated teachers of technology, they're "doing it younger" these days and our school administrators must, and will I feel sure, cope.
ANZ imight be a way of coping with the good and bad of school-zoning, especially when more and more teen-age millionaires yawn at the back of their classes.