Choosing Alone? Peer Continuity Disparities in Choice-Based Enrollment Systems

Nicholas D.E. Mark, Sean P. Corcoran, Jennifer L. Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We provide novel evidence on the broader impacts of school choice systems by quantifying disparities in peer continuity from middle to high school in New York City. We find that Black and Hispanic students and those in high-poverty neighborhoods attend high school with a much smaller fraction of their middle school or neighborhood peers than their White, Asian, and low-poverty neighborhood counterparts. Disparities also emerge in peer isolation: 27% and 20% of Black and Hispanic students transitioned with no other student from their middle school, while only 7% to 8% of White and Asian students did. Group differences in choice similarity, which in part reflects systematic variation in the number of local school options, drive this result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-376
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Researcher
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


  • admissions
  • correlational analysis
  • descriptive analysis
  • high schools
  • middle schools
  • peer interaction/friendship
  • regression analyses
  • social stratification


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