Negotiating disparate social contexts : evidence from an interdistrict school desegregation program

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This dissertation examines the academic and social effects of an interdistrict desegregation program on transfer students using 10 years of lottery-based data. The goal of the dissertation is twofold. First, I use school district administrative data to estimate the effects of attending better-performing, higher-resourced schools on student achievement. Because of the non-random sorting of students, it is unclear to what extent inequalities in educational outcomes stem from differences in school environments or from differences in family background and other extra-school attributes. To test this, I match transfer application records to student-level administrative records to examine differences in test scores, attendance, special education status, and English language acquisition between students who were lotteried in and those who were lotteried out. Second, I attempt to disentangle the processes that create these school effects. I use both deductive and inductive methods to pull apart structural, organizational, and cultural issues relevant to transfer students' outcomes. I use in-depth interview data from applicants currently in grades 6--12 and their parents to explore non-cognitive, or social, outcomes such as friendship formation, feelings of institutional affiliation in their schools and neighborhoods, and racial identity. Theories that explain the effects of school on students often neglect to consider the degree to which students are embedded in their schools. I introduce the term non-concentric institutions to characterize the non-overlapping nature of these students' environments. This concept contributes to our understanding of the ways in which institutional affiliations, and the potentially disconnected frameworks that emerge out of disparate affiliations, affect individual outcomes. Few scholars have considered the social implications of school choice programs. Moreover, while prior research has focused on African American children, this research sheds light on the effects of school context on Latino children as well, who experience a unique set of challenges including English language acquisition.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2011
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Bischoff, Kendra Christina
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Sociology.
Primary advisor Reardon, Sean F
Primary advisor Snipp, C. Matthew
Thesis advisor Reardon, Sean F
Thesis advisor Snipp, C. Matthew
Thesis advisor McAdam, Doug
Advisor McAdam, Doug


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Kendra C. Bischoff.
Note Submitted to the Department of Sociology.
Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2011
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2011 by Kendra Christina Bischoff
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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