Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

A Contest without Winners

How Students Experience Competitive School Choice

2019
Author:

Kate Phillippo

A Contest without Winners

Seeing the consequences of competitive school choice policy through students’ eyes

Kate Phillippo follows a diverse group of Chicago students through the processes of researching, applying to, and enrolling in public high school, finding that the students are powerful policy actors who carry out and redefine competitive choice. Phillippo challenges meritocratic and market-driven notions of opportunity creation for young people and raises critical questions about the goals we have for public schooling.

Finally, a smart, thorough, in-depth examination of the impact of high-stakes competitive high school admissions processes on the young people who engage it. A Contest without Winners holds a mirror up to the district, showing what the costs are for policy decisions to heavily invest in a few elite schools rather than ensuring that all students in the district have access to high-quality schooling.

Amanda E. Lewis, coauthor of Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools

While policymakers often justify school choice as a means to alleviate opportunity and achievement gaps, an unanticipated effect is increased competition over access to coveted, high-performing schools. In A Contest without WinnersA Contest without Winners challenges meritocratic and market-driven notions of opportunity creation for young people and raises critical questions about the goals we have for public schooling.

A Contest without Winners

Kate Phillippo is associate professor of cultural and educational policy studies at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Education. She is author of Advisory in Urban High Schools: A Study of Expanded Teacher Roles.

A Contest without Winners

Finally, a smart, thorough, in-depth examination of the impact of high-stakes competitive high school admissions processes on the young people who engage it. A Contest without Winners holds a mirror up to the district, showing what the costs are for policy decisions to heavily invest in a few elite schools rather than ensuring that all students in the district have access to high-quality schooling.

Amanda E. Lewis, coauthor of Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools

A Contest without Winners shows readers the faces and voices of the eighth graders embroiled in Chicago’s competitive choice system. Kate Phillippo describes how the students navigate the demands placed on them, how the system changes their views of fairness and of themselves, and how school choice policy legitimizes the very inequalities that rig the competition.

Kevin G. Welner, director, National Education Policy Center

A Contest without Winners