School Choice and Assignment

Figure. Map of a single family’s “choice basket” from the new Home-Based lottery and assignment system.

Figure. Map of a single family’s “choice basket” from the new Home-Based lottery and assignment system.

In 2014 the Boston Public Schools (BPS) implemented a new school choice and assignment system that they have since sought to evaluate in collaboration with faculty from four local universities (Harvard University, Northeastern University, Boston College, and Tufts University). The focus of this project has been on the different definitions of “fairness” and their realization. Early stages of the project have used records of family choices submitted to the lottery to analyze the factors that determine school preferences, and further efforts will combine administrative data with in-person surveys to examine how these preferences shifted with the new lottery and assignment system, and the implications of this for families, schools, and neighborhoods.

 

Investigators:

Nancy Hill* (Harvard University), Christie McWayne (Tufts University), Dan O’Brien (Northeastern University) *-Contact: nancy_hill@gse.harvard.edu