School of choice or schools’ choice? Intersectional correspondence testing on ethnic and class discrimination in the enrolment procedure to Flemish kindergarten

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Abstract

Most research on intake focusses on the restrictions parents’ capital cause on their abilities to choose. However, the steering effect of schools in the choice-process has been neglected. We chose the Flemish context to investigate ethnic- and class-discrimination in the enrolment to kindergarten (N = 2243). The Flemish education system is known for its exceptional ‘freedom of choice’ allowing parents to enrol their children into their school of preference without restrictions. Simultaneously, the education system is highly decentralized due to the principle of ‘freedom of education’ that grants high levels of autonomy to schools in creating their school policies. Using correspondence testing, the results show that schools act as gatekeepers using subtle discriminatory strategies to keep students with an underprivileged background out.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-204
Number of pages21
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Volume26
Issue number2
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright:
Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Discrimination
  • Racism
  • School choice
  • Correspondence testing
  • Class

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