Win admission lottery, get diploma, be college ready
(N.Y.) The disappointment of not being accepted to a school of choice can be difficult for some students to get over – but are the implications more serious? Can losing an admission lottery impact graduation rates and college readiness?
Turns out it can, at least according to new research from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.
The study focused on a population of nearly 15,000 ninth graders that participate each year in New York’s High School Application Processing System, which randomly determines the order that students receive their high school assignments.
The incoming freshmen rank their preferences for up to 12 high schools and then based on the order of assignment, schools then fill their slots. Among the most popular selections were “small schools of choice,” which are small, nonselective public high schools that emphasize academic rigor, strong relationships between students and teachers and community partnerships.
The research compared outcomes of students who won an admission lottery with those who lost the same lottery. One finding of the study is the effect small schools of choice are having on at-risk students.
Three cohorts of freshmen were included in the analysis, from 2004 through 2007 and each cohort was followed four years.
After reviewing all the data, the research team concluded that “offer of admission to a (small school of choice) increased four-year graduation rates” and college readiness in English. But the study authors said, winning the admission lottery had “no effect on college readiness in math or other types of high school diplomas that students received.”