The Urban Review

, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 777–804 | Cite as

Communities and School Ratings: Examining Geography of Opportunity in an Urban School District Located in a Resource-Rich City

  • Terrance L. GreenEmail author
  • Joanna Sánchez
  • Emily Germain


Research on geography of opportunity documents how residential patterns influence students’ access to equitable educational opportunities and resources. This scholarship often highlights how geography reinforces educational inequity in urban school districts located in resource-constrained cities. Yet, less research has explored how the geography of educational opportunity and resources plays out in school districts located in fast-growing and opportunity-rich cities. As such, this descriptive analysis uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map the spatial distribution of high schools considered high-quality according to their state accountability rating by race and socioeconomic status in an urban school district located in an opportunity-rich city in the Northeastern U.S. We also examine how district transfer and selective enrollment policies as well as distances to other public and charter high schools rated high-quality influence the geography of educational opportunity. Our findings suggest that spatial arrangements and district policies impact patterns of unequal educational opportunity and resources across the district for children of color who live in low-income communities, despite being located in an opportunity-rich city. This study concludes with implications for policy and future research.


Geography of opportunity Educational equity Neighborhood effects Student assignment policy Racial diversity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terrance L. Green
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joanna Sánchez
    • 2
  • Emily Germain
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational AdministrationUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Educational Policy and Planning ProgramUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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