NYC school choice

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Joseph Malkevitch
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:52 pm
Location: Jamaica, New York

NYC school choice

Postby Joseph Malkevitch » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:37 am

Dear Colleagues,

School choice involves the movement to have students have more flexibility than going to a neighborhood school to get their public school education. Unfortunately, sometimes this "movement" has been tied to attempts to privatize public schools via the charter school movement which generally has from my perspective had many abuses.

School choice has involved developing systems to implement trying to pair students with schools they want to go to and schools getting the slots they have available filled with students they want, or by law must accommodate. While classical applied mathematics often drew on differential equations, partial differential equations, or fourier series, school choice can be improved by using discrete mathematical models. These models are typically rooted in discrete/game theory mathematics and historically many of the ideas go back to the Gale/Shapley (David Gale and Lloyd Shapley, now both deceased) "stable" matchings approach and/or David Gale's top trading cycle approach. Here is an extensive paper which looks at the consequences of using different ideas and algorithms for placing students in NYC schools. What is being attempted is to "juggle" the desire for the pairings to be "stable," that "welfare" (fairness ideas) be maximized, and that the system encourage rankings by schools and parents to be "honest." Often the mathematics shows that achieving all the desirable features one might want is not possible. ... -03-16.pdf

and a more recent version:


Joseph Malkevitch
Department of Mathematics
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, New York 11451


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