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When a lottery is the right way to share, select, decide


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Boarding school places by lottery: Baltimore USA

Posted by kleroterion on Wednesday, 18 June 2008

(A graphic description of the psychological effect of being involved in a life-transfomative lottery. But you might find this article a bit patronising!!)

Hope in the Unseen By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN  

Every once in a while as a journalist you see a scene that grips you and will not let go, a scene that is at once so uplifting and so cruel it’s difficult to even convey in words. I saw such a scene last weekend at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore. It was actually a lottery, but no ordinary lottery. The winners didn’t win cash, but a ticket to a better life. The losers left with their hopes and lottery tickets crumpled.

The event was a lottery to choose the first 80 students who will attend a new public boarding school — the SEED School of Maryland — based in Baltimore. I went along because my wife is on the SEED Foundation board. The foundation opened its first school 10 years ago in Washington, D.C., as the nation’s first college-prep, public, urban boarding school. Baltimore is its second campus. The vast majority of students are African-American, drawn from the most disadvantaged and violent school districts.

Read the rest at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/opinion/25friedman.html   25 May 2008


One Response to “Boarding school places by lottery: Baltimore USA”

  1. Fine sentiments, but does winning this lottery really lead to a better life? Maybe not according to Cullen, Jacob & Levitt (yes the ‘Freakonomics’ guy)Nov 2003 NBER Paper 10113. Testing the outcomes from a similar Chicago school lottery showed no average improvement in school grades of the winners or in the system. Still a lottery for places is good politics, even if it is dumb educational policy!

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