Wednesday, May 24, 2017

School choice in Chile

La Tercera reviews the adoption of a deferred acceptance school choice system in parts of Chile:
Resultados y desafíos del nuevo sistema de admisión escolar

Google translate:
Results and challenges of the new school admission system

"The implementation of this new system counted on the participation of all the relevant actors. Schools actively informed parents about the various aspects of their educational programs and their vacancies. After accessing this information (either in person or via the web platform designed by Mineduc), the parents declared a list of preferences of the schools in which they wanted to enroll their children . The system is designed so that they express their preferences about different establishments in an honest and transparent way.

Many colleges have more applicants than quotas. To decide which students will be admitted to a facility, applicants are listed. This list respects the priorities indicated in the Law of Inclusion and guarantees equal opportunities by solving ties in a random manner.

Allocation mechanisms similar to those implemented in Magallanes are used in several countries around the world, highlighting the cases of the USA. (Boston and New York, among others), Holland and Finland. In each case, the DA algorithm must solve local demands that make each implementation unique and interesting. In Chile, for example, the law establishes priority criteria for applicants, so the allocation algorithm must give preponderance to siblings and children of officials, as well as those students considered to be priority because of their socioeconomic situation.

Our review of the 2016 process is positive. 3,580 students participated in two rounds of application: 3,147 exclusively in the main round, 222 in the second round and 211 in both. Of these applicants, in the main round, 1,959 (58.3%) were assigned to their first option, while in the second round this number reached 357 (82%). In the full process 3,107 students were assigned to one of their preferences, while 258 were withdrawn from the process. International experience shows that these numbers are positive. In New York, for example, in the process of admission to secondary education in 2006, about 40% of students were assigned to their favorite school.

One of the challenges for the next implementations is the simplification of the different stages of the process. Likewise, it is important to inform parents and guardians to motivate them to use the new admission system and, in this way, increase the chances of their children staying in a school that satisfies them. Our challenge is to scale this system to make the school assignment of all children in Chile."

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