Setting Priorities in School Choice Enrollment Systems: Who Benefits from Placement Algorithm Preferences?

This report looks closer at who benefits from the priority categories that are one part of centralized enrollment systems. For example, students with siblings or who live close to a school have a better chance of getting in. The researchers explored whether these categories favored students of certain races or socioeconomic classes. “ Even though the algorithm does not consider race when Black and white applicants requested the same schools as their first choice, white students were more likely to get a seat because they were more likely to have a geographic preference or a sibling in those schools,” said Jon Valant, the report’s lead author. “It’s important to recognize that these priorities are defined through a policy process–and work to ensure that the priorities align with the community’s values.”

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