Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to evaluate school choice: Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph has an article about school choice in Britain that uses what strikes me as a tricky standard to declare that something is rotten in Britain:

Children 'forced to accept unpopular secondary schools': Almost 75,000 children have been rejected from their preferred secondary school amid a desperate scramble for the most sought-after places, official figures show.

The article goes on to say
"More than one-in-seven pupils across England are being forced to accept second, third or fourth-choice schools this September, it emerged.
"According to figures, some schools in parts of London received as many as nine applications for every place.

"Mr Gibb said: “I want us to reach a position where it is parents choosing schools, not schools choosing parents."
And here's a similar article about younger kids: More children rejected from first-choice primary school

"Among councils that provided year-on-year figures, some 90 per cent reported an increase in applications in 2012 compared with 2011.
"In those areas, almost 14 per cent of four and five-year-olds failed to get into their first choice school
Britain would not be alone in having a shortage of good schools, but the point I want to raise about these articles is that the statistics mentioned could instead indicate that Britain has a few remarkably good schools that are oversubscribed. That would be something quite different, but it would still mean that many students didn't get one of their top choices.

1 comment:

Tayfun Sonmez said...

Entire England switched to capped versions of student-optimal stable mechanism with the 2007 education code; at least 60 local authorities (out of about 150 in the country) gave up Boston mechanism just since that year; London gave it up in 2005 I believe. (We discuss this reform in detail in our recent paper with Parag.) So inevitably people are seeing students receiving less "first choices" since all these places abandoned a mechanism that pushes you to rank less risky schools as first choice.