The aim of this paper is to analyze, using a hierarchical linear model, the degree to which a system of choice, as the one implemented in Chile since the beginning of the 80’s, can promote student achievement and equity in the social distribution of achievement. Using data from a standardized achievement test including 226,860 4tth degree students and 4,949 schools, we investigate the association between students’ socioeconomic status and achievement, within and between schools. We also investigate up to what extent different categories of schools enjoy advantages in educating low-income students. These are important issues because unlike the limited vouchers programs in the US, Chile has had a nationwide school choice program for more than 20 years.
Keywords: educational achievement, equity, HLM, school choice