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Hammond, Morrill and Dur presented new algorithms for WCPSS to use in its assignment process that alleviated the need for parents to strategize.
“We used work in economics to advise the school system on alternative assignment processes,” Hammond said.
“That was the distillation of work that economists had been doing for 10 years.” in February 2018.
“It was weighted toward sophisticated parents who knew strategic incentives,” Hammond said.
“Parents who didn’t play that strategic incentive potentially were at a disadvantage.
In assigning students to a particular school, WCPSS first considered students who had listed that school as their first preference, then seated students based on how high they scored on the WCPSS priority criteria.
If any seats remained, only then did WCPSS consider students who had listed that school as their second or third choice.
They use data from Wake County to conduct ongoing studies and make new recommendations, for magnet school assignment, for instance.
Hammond, Morrill and Dur help WCPSS administer the assignment process and implement their recommendations.
If you can reduce the strategic incentive, it levels the playing field.” As theorists, Morrill and Dur study how to design assignment processes.
They have experience in matching, one application of which is school choice.