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Balancing School Choice and Equity

An International Perspective Based on Pisa

image of Balancing School Choice and Equity

Many countries are struggling to reconcile greater flexibility in school choice with the need to ensure quality, equity and coherence in their school systems. This report provides an international perspective on issues related to school choice, especially how certain aspects of school-choice policies may be associated with sorting students into different schools. A key question fuelling the school-choice debate is whether greater competition among schools results in more sorting of students by ability or socio-economic status. At the macro level, school segregation can deprive children of opportunities to learn, play and communicate with other children from different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, which can, in turn, threaten social cohesion. The report draws a comprehensive picture of school segregation, using a variety of indicators in order to account for the diversity of the processes by which students are allocated to schools.

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How school choice can be measured by PISA and how these indicators have evolved over time

This chapter presents several indicators in PISA for measuring school choice. It examines where the proportion of students in private schools has changed between the early 2000s and 2015, and discusses the admissions criteria schools use, notably those related to residence and to academic performance. The chapter also compares the degree of local school competition as perceived by parents and school principals.

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