Choice and consequence: Assessing mismatch at Chicago exam schools

According to the educational mismatch theory, affirmative action measures that place pupils in selective institutions can harm them. A theory was tested in Chicago’s selective public exam schools, which admit based on community diversity and test scores. Findings suggest that affirmative action kids do not improve reading, and exam schools hurt math performance and four-year college attendance. These impacts are seen in both selective and non-selective schools, showing mismatch is not the fundamental cause. The apparent discrepancy is due to applications being diverted from high-performing charter schools.

Image courtesy of interviewee. December 20, 2023

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