Date of Degree

9-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Urban Education

Advisor(s)

Nicholas Michelli

Committee Members

Terrie Epstein

John Mollenkopf

Subject Categories

Education Policy | Urban Education

Keywords

School Choice, Policy Implementation, New York City, public school, urban education, high school admissions

Abstract

The implementation of the high school admissions process in the New York City Public schools, has re-defined the work and identities of professionals working the screened high school-programs. This study uses descriptive statistics culled from the Directory of New York City High Schools for 2007 and 2017, and interviews with school personnel from three screened school-programs, to review the impact of the implementation of this process during its first full decade in existence. These data establish the fact that screened school-programs are experiencing the phenomenon of marketization by way of their admissions process. Further, the implementation of this process generates additional labor for those professionals working at screened school-programs who are tasked with coordinating the admissions process, but in some cases, for all professionals working in screened school-programs however far removed their work may appear to be from the admissions process. This research finds that, especially for those in the position of “director” or “coordinator” of admissions, the work challenges traditional professional identities, shifts the work of these educators towards customer service-related tasks, is overwhelmingly performed by women and is largely unacknowledged by formal pay structures, budget lines or job titles within the Department of Education nor its accompanying unions (for example, “Director of Admissions” is not an official Department of Education job title and there is no formal line in a school’s budget to compensate for admissions-related costs or labor). This research provides a foundation for those interested in further examining the New York City High School admissions process or other education policies that may be referred to as “unfunded mandates,” particularly those who are interested in the dilemmas of front-line workers and policy implementation.

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