Chalkbeat: A Contest without Winners

Article by Kate Phillippo, author of A Contest without Winners

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

Plenty of research indicates that Black, Latinx, lower-income, and English language learners are underrepresented in high-performing schools that require competition to access them. Recent public and political controversy over the admission of seven Black students to Stuyvesant High School, out of an incoming class of 895, underscores this painfully familiar point. Davea, a lower-income Black student, is part of this story. My research shows that we need to look more closely at what the competitive admissions process does to young people. Not only does competitive admissions policy put prized educational opportunities beyond the reach of many students, but it also sends incomplete messages about students’ strengths and promise. 


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