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This was presented by Eric Reese from the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University at the Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (TICTeC@Taipei) in Taipei on 12th September 2017. You can find out more information about the conference here: http://civictechfest.org/agenda
In this time of rising inequality and urban population growth, cities face real problems trying to achieve equity in service quality and access for their residents.
Schooling presents a particularly large challenge — and when the sole determinant of which school children attend is their residential address, it can produce a spiral of unequal schooling conditions that are difficult to remedy.
One solution is the creation of specializations in schools and attendance rules that permit children to matriculate across a range of schools. Through this technique, the close relationship between housing price and school resources can somewhat loosen, the resources of wealthier families can flow to a wider array of schools, and children from less-wealthy households can gain the advantages of a more economically diverse school environment and increased choice for where their children attend school.
Civic Technology tools are playing a key role in improving the availability of information about schooling options to parents and increasing their interest in schools beyond their closest option. Eric examines the development process and effects of several “school chooser” tools currently implemented in the US and European cities of Vilnius, Boston, and Oakland.