Equal Opportunities International

Equity issues associated with the change of college admissions tests in Chile

Purpose –
The purpose of this paper is to document the process of change of the admission tests in a developing country, Chile focusing on equity issues, particularly on the outcomes for test takers from marginalized groups.

Design/methodology/approach –
The paper deals with equity issues associated to the change in admission tests to higher education in Chile. It addresses the omission of a validity framework, the ensuing implementation problems, and the unfulfilled expectations that the new tests would increase access to higher education for marginalized groups. The paper is built as a case study, using media accounts and archival data to document the process of change.

Findings –
Three years after the debut of the new tests, the expected outcomes of increased access to higher education were not met. The performance gap in the admission tests between the underprivileged group of applicants from public municipal high-schools and the applicants from private schools widened.

Research limitations/implications –
Two limitations of the study were the restricted access to primary information and the peripheral involvement of the authors had in the controversy over the new tests. To control for the potential bias in the discussion of the issues, the authors consulted with local and foreign experts not involved in the controversy in order to validate judgments and the interpretation of data and events.

Originality/value –
An understanding of the overslights and flaws in the process of change can serve to inform national policy debates in countries where educational reforms are under way

 

Publicado en: Equal Opportunities International