Algorithmic Change and Political Failure: Boston Public Schools Case Study

12 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2019

Date Written: February 10, 2019

Abstract

Boston Public Schools tried to implement comprehensive change to school start times and bus schedules using a set of MIT-developed algorithms.The science was first-rate and the efforts to correct for historic inequities admirable. But because the algorithms optimized for equity and efficiency, at the expense of stability, the process foundered on public outrage. More might have been done to engage the public around the model and render more transparent the tradeoffs between various objectives. Absent such engagement, there's a risk of algorithmic scapegoating where the public blames the technology for political process failure.

Keywords: algorithms, data, technology, policy, education, transparency, due process, engagement

JEL Classification: K20

Suggested Citation

Goodman, Ellen P., Algorithmic Change and Political Failure: Boston Public Schools Case Study (February 10, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3333212 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3333212

Ellen P. Goodman (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

NJ
United States
856-225-6393 (Phone)
856-225-6516 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
193
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information