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The Boston Globe

Metro

March 28, 2011

Relief, dismay, even guilt greet student placements

In a downtown office cubicle, next to a file cabinet topped with a philodendron in a wine carafe, a Boston public schools computer specialist dispassionately clicked a mouse.

It was 10:11 on a Friday morning. By 10:18, the computer program had silently assigned nearly 12,000 students to 134 city schools - the good and the bad, the underperforming and the overachieving - based on their parents’ choices, their proximity to the school, and a healthy heaping of luck.

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