Providing all children equal access to essential services, such as primary education, has been set as a priority in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’ agenda during the last two decades. Yet the Global Education Monitoring report in 2016 reveals that wide disparities between the rich and the poor persist in access to education of high quality. This study uses the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) to examine the equality of opportunity in access to basic education of high quality. By using enrollment and admission data from a case study in a large school district in the US in 2015/2016, this research evaluates the capacity of the HOI, in order to reveal disparities in access to school opportunities and examines how much of this inequality is explained by families’ pre-determined circumstances. The way of analyzing equality is by disaggregating applications’ data into circumstance groups, according to gender, geography, race/ethnicity, and other criteria. To capture the contribution of each circumstance to inequality of opportunity, the Shapley decomposition method is used. Findings show that the HOI is capable of systematically monitoring and examining existing admission policies and identifying inequality problems. Furthermore, the analysis of the contribution of each circumstance group can reveal admission criteria that have the potential to harm the educational opportunities for children. This assessment should provide valuable insights into the capability of the indicators to reveal where policy intervention is necessary and supply points of view on how policy can be improved.
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
- Inequality of opportunity
- Educational inequality
- Human Opportunity Index
- School admission