Thursday, June 23, 2022

School Choice in Chile

 Here's a recent report on the implementation of centralized school choice in Chile.

School Choice in Chile by José Correa, Natalie Epstein,  Rafael Epstein, Juan Escobar, Ignacio Rios, Nicol ́as Aramayo, Basti ́an Bahamondes, Carlos Bonet, Martin Castillo, Andres Cristi, Boris Epstein, and Felipe Subiabre, OPERATIONS RESEARCH Vol. 70, No. 2, March–April 2022, pp. 1066–1087

Abstract. "Centralized school admission mechanisms are an attractive way of improving social welfare and fairness in large educational systems. In this paper, we report the design and implementation of the newly established school choice system in Chile, where over 274,000 students applied to more than 6,400 schools. The Chilean system presents unprecedented design challenges that make it unique. First, it is a simultaneous nationwide system, making it one of the largest school choice problems worldwide. Second, the system is used for all school grade levels, from prekindergarten to 12th grade. One of our primary goals is to favor the assignment of siblings to the same school. By adapting the standard notions of stability, we show that a stable assignment may not exist. Hence, we propose a heuristic approach that elicits preferences and breaks ties between students in the same priority group at the family level. In terms of implementation, we adapt the deferred acceptance algorithm as in other systems around the world."

"From a practical standpoint, a key lesson is that maintaining continuous communication and collaboration with policymakers is essential, as many practical issues arise and must be incorporated into the design. In addition, decomposing the implementation into a given number of steps allowed us to gain experience, solve unexpected problems, and continuously improve the system. "

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