23 SES 12 C, Comparing and Contrasting School Choice Policies: Contrasting Extreme Cases
Finland and Chile have both school choice policies and regulations related to pupil selection, although with strong variations between both countries referring to the levels of openness/restrictions of the educational quasi-markets. The authors will expose results of a comparative study referring to practices of pupils’ selection, based on family-survey and/or school statistics data delivered in Turku (Finland) and Santiago (Chile), and also informed by parents’ interviews and ethnographic data. The main argument of the authors is that de utopia of school choice has, contrary to the expected, increased pupil selection. These school practices have acquired sophisticated ways in which schools diagnose family and pupils’ social and academic capital, employing explicit and hidden techniques. The effects of these practices over families entail an increasing naturalisation of the ethics of competition, although there are also strong resistance towards these early experiences of acceptance and rejection to which youth are exposed. Overall, the data of both cities evidences expanding pupil selection practices, working as market mechanisms at a local level. These practices favour families with higher social capitals, consequently increasing segregation effects. Overall, these empirical findings challenge the claims that school choice is offering more freedom and educational opportunities to all
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