Simulating Alternative School Choice Options in Boston

Discussion Paper

Parag A. Pathak, Peng Shi

January 2013

Blueprint Labs researchers use econometric analysis to simulate the consequences of proposed alternative school choice plans in Boston. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Superintendent Carol Johnson request Blueprint’s technical assistance to use existing choices families have made in Boston’s choice plan to predict how plans would have faired in the current school year. Blueprint Labs Director Professor Parag Pathak and grad­u­ate stu­dent Peng Shi conduct the analysis.

The main report contains an executive summary and analysis of the BPS 10-Zone plan and two non-zone plans.

The technical appendix contains further details on the demand estimation and simulation methodology.

Blueprint Labs does not take a position on the overall merits of any plan.

Please also see the cover memo that Boston Public Schools (BPS) circulated with the report, which has an introduction and neighborhood analysis summary.