A new study of New York City’s high school choice system shows that even high-achieving students from lower-performing middle schools often don’t aim for the most competitive high schools, a finding that raises questions about how well the choice system, by itself, expands students’ options.
The report by the city’s Independent Budget Office used students’ scores on math tests as proxies for achievement level. It found students from lower-performing middle schools were less likely than students from higher-performing schools to aim for the city’s more competitive high schools—regardless of a student’s own academic performance.
By choosing less-selective high schools, students picked schools that tend to have lower graduation rates, the report found.
A version of this article appeared in the November 02, 2016 edition of Education Week as School Choice