Advertisement

The Urban Review

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 1–21 | Cite as

My So-Called Choice: The Trappings of School Choice for Non-Admits

  • Susan Rakosi RosenbloomEmail author
Article

Abstract

Exploratory research investigates how students in a neighborhood high school navigate the complex school choice admissions process in New York City. Four years of in-depth, longitudinal interviews with thirty minority youth explores how their status as non-admits (students rejected from all schools) shapes their perceptions of peers and experiences in school. Non-admits feel duped into attending stigmatized neighborhood schools and believe their peers cannot be trusted. Analysis suggests school choice research and policy can be improved by: (1) considering students’ participation in the decision-making process; (2) investigating students who only receive the trappings of choice; (3) integrating the social consequences of school choice into current policy discussions and; (4) analyzing how the quality of officially published information about schools influences decision-making.

Keywords

High school Urban Adolescent Minority School choice 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research is supported by funds given by the Adolescent & Youth Dissertation Award Program for research at the Henry A. Murray Research Center of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Thank You for feedback from: Níobe Way, Caroline Persell, Ruth Horowitz Miranda Martinez, Tina Fetner, Kesha Moore, Patrick McGuinn and anonymous reviewers.

References

  1. Directory of public high schools. 1995–1996. New York: New York City Board of Education.Google Scholar
  2. Comprehensive educational plan. 1999–2000. New York: New York State Education Department Board of Education of the City of New York.Google Scholar
  3. Archard, D. (1993). Children rights and childhood. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Ascher, C., & Wamba, N. (2000). Charter schools: An emerging market for a new model of equity? School choice and racial diversity, teachers college, Columbia University, The national center for the study of privatization in education and the civil rights project.Google Scholar
  5. Astin, A. (1992). Educational “choice”: Its appeal may be illusory. Sociology of Education, 65(4), 255–260.Google Scholar
  6. Attewell, P. (2001). The winner-take-all high school: Organizational adaptations to the educational stratification. Sociology of Education, 74(4), 267–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ben-Ali, R. (1993). Cops accused: Family blames police in son’s kidnap death (p. 23). New York: Newsday.Google Scholar
  8. Berger, L. (2002). School maze. New York: The New York Times. City 1.Google Scholar
  9. Blair, J. (1985). Lost in the labyrinth: New York city high school admissions (p. 94). New York: Educational Priorities Panel.Google Scholar
  10. Chubb, J. E., & Moe, T. M. (1990). Politics, markets, and America’s schools. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.Google Scholar
  11. Cookson, P. W., & Persell, C. H. (1985). Preparing for power: America’s elite boarding schools. Basic books, NY.Google Scholar
  12. Devine, J. (1996). Maximum security: The culture of violence in inner-city schools. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  13. Dillon, S. (1993). Asbestos in the school; disorder on day 1 in New York schools. New York: New York Times. 1 Section A.Google Scholar
  14. Finn, C. E. (1990). Why we need choice. In W. L. Boyd & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Choice in education. Berkeley, CA: McCutchan Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  15. Friedman, M. (1955). The role of government in education. In R. A. Solo (Ed.), Economics and the public interest. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Friedman, M. (1962). Capitalism and freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  17. Fuller, B., Elmore, R. F., et al. (1996). Policy-Making in the dark: Illuminating the school choice debate. In B. Fuller, R. F. Elmore, & G. Orfield (Eds.), Who Choses? Who Loses? Culture, institutions, and the unequal effects of school choice (pp. 1–21). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gill, B., P. M. Timpane, et al. (2001). Rhetoric vs. reality: What we know and what we need to know about vouchers and charter schools, Rand corporation.Google Scholar
  19. Goodnough, A. (2003). Many are shut out in high school choice (p. B3). New York: New York Times.Google Scholar
  20. Hammond, J. P. (1992). School choice and student performance. Administration, New York: Columbia University Teachers College 138.Google Scholar
  21. Hartocollis, A. (2002). Date of exam for elite schools is moved up, disturbing parents (p. B1). New York: New York Times.Google Scholar
  22. Henig, J. (1994). Rethinking school choice: Limits of the market metaphor. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Henig, J. (1996). The local dynamics of choice: Ethnic preferences and institutional responses. In R. F. E. Bruce Fuller & G. Orfield (Eds.), Who Chooses? Who Loses? Culture, institutions, and the unequal effects of school choice (pp. 95–117). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  24. Karabel, J. (1972). Community colleges and social stratification, Harvard Educational Review.Google Scholar
  25. Lareau, A. (2003). Unequal childhoods: Class, race, and family life. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  26. Lee, V. E., & Croninger, R. G. (1996). Equity and choice in Detroit. In B. Fuller, R. F. Elmore, G. Orfield, et al. (Eds.), Who Chooses? Who Loses? Culture, institutions, and the unequal effects of school choice (pp. 70–91). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  27. Martinez, V., & Godwin, K. (1996). Public school choice in San Antonio: Who chooses and with what effects? In B. Fuller, R. F. Elmore, G. Orfield, et al. (Eds.), Who Chooses? Who Loses? Culture, institutions, and the unequal effects of school choice (pp. 50–69). New York: Teachers College.Google Scholar
  28. Maxwell, J. A. (1996). Qualitative research design: An interpretive approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  29. McGuinn, P. J. (2006). No child left behind and the transformation of federal education policy, 1965–2005. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
  30. Medina, J. (2002). Stress just part of the test for selective high schools. The New York Times, New York City, B1.Google Scholar
  31. Moore, D., & Davenport, S. (1989). The new improved sorting machine. Chicago: Designs for Change.Google Scholar
  32. Ogawa, R. T., & Dutton, J. S. (1997). Parent involvement and school choice: Exit and voice in public schools. Urban Education, 32(3), 333–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Price, J. (1985). Public high schools private admissions. New York: Advocates for Children.Google Scholar
  34. Saporito, S., & Lareau, A. (1999). School selection as a process: The multiple dimensions of race in framing educational choice. Social Problems, 46(3), 418–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schneider, M., Teske, P., et al. (2000). Choosing schools consumer choice and the quality of American schools. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Twin, S. L. (1991). High school admissions: A question of choice? (p. 46). New York: Educational Priorities Panel.Google Scholar
  37. Way, N. (1998). Everyday courage: The lives and stories of urban teenagers. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Wells, A. S. (1993). Time to choose: America at the crossroads of school choice policy. New York: Hill and Wang.Google Scholar
  39. Wells, A. S. (1996). African–American students’ view of school choice. In B. Fuller, R. F. Elmore, & G. Orfield (Eds.), Who Chooses? Who Loses? Culture institutions, and the unequal effects of school choice (pp. 25–49). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  40. Wells, A. S., & Crain, R. L. (1997). Stepping over the color line: African American students in white suburban schools. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Witte, J. F. (1995). Three critical factors in the school choice debate. Social Science Quarterly, 76(3), 502–505.Google Scholar
  42. Witte, J. F. (1996). Who benefits from the Milwaukee program. In B. Fuller & R. F. Elmore (Eds.), Who Chooses? Who Loses? Culture, institutions, and the unequal effects of school choice (pp. 118–137). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyDrew UniversityMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations