Educational Equity in Chile: Trends 1999-2011

May 2013
For over thirty years, Chile has been implementing reforms and policies aimed at improving educational efficiency, quality and equity. The latter has been of particular interest over the last decade. The quality and quantity of data available in Chile allows us to explore the evolution of learning gaps among students according to their socioeconomic background over increasingly longer periods of time. The findings of this study indicate positive changes in the distribution of learning achievement according to student socioeconomic level or, in other words, educational equity. However, the magnitude of these changes varies according to grade level and subject. Changes have been more notable in the fourth grade and in language than in the eighth grade and in math, and they have been minimal in the tenth grade. Furthermore, as a methodological contribution to studies on educational equity, we make use of a variety of tools in order to explore their consistency. Therefore, this document presents, in their respective sections: a) the results of national achievement tests from the past years and an analysis of trends in socioeconomic and academic segregation in schools; b) changes in the relationship of socioeconomic status to academic achievement between and within schools; and c) the evolution in learning gaps between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.