Choosing Alone? Peer Similarity in High School Choices

This descriptive study by Nicholas D. E. Mark, Sean Corcoran, and Jennifer Jennings examines student high school applications for different groups of students in New York City. The authors examine students in the same middle school, in the same neighborhood, of the same race, or with the same achievement level. They examine how similar students’ ranked high school choices are as the proportion of students in a group whose first high school choice is listed among the top three choices for all other students in the defined group. Students with similar levels of achievement are the most likely to rank similar schools in the top three. White students tend to list similar high schools, as do Asian students. The culmination of these ranked choices is that students in certain groups tend to have a greater continuity of peers from middle to high school than other students.

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