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


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.


High school Urban Adolescent Minority School choice 



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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyDrew UniversityMadisonUSA

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