Primary School Choice and Ethnic School Segregation in German Elementary Schools
University of Leipzig
This study aims at addressing relevant mechanisms in the school choice process that contribute to the emergence of ethnic school segregation and it utilizes this framework to assess their empirical importance for a particular German setting.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
European Sociological Review
Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 495-510
- More Turkish origin families than German families consider only the district’s common school. These individuals do not enter an evaluation process.
- At the evaluation stage, more Turkish origin families than German families select a common school, and less often select a Catholic or Protestant one.
- The main question for the eventual distribution of school choice outcomes is whether individuals indeed consider and select one of the denominational alternatives rather than the district’s common school. In this context, the family’s impact in terms of perception and evaluation is much more important for final school attendance than the school’s influence at the school access stage.
- Both Turkish-origin and German students who enter the district’s common school face considerably larger proportions of foreign nationals than they would have encountered in the Catholic district school.
- The educational experience available within the family clearly affects the level of information they obtain.
- Turkish families are far less likely than German families to possess the relevant information on available school types.
- The closer the Catholic/Protestant option becomes to home relative to the distance to the common school, the more likely individuals are to select the denominational alternative.
- The better the achievement grading of the denominational school is compared with that of the common alternative, the more likely individuals are to choose the higher-graded Catholic or Protestant school.
Journal Article Historical Analysis
Choice, Geographic Location, Segregation
Method of Analysis:
Binomial Regression Model
Students in Essen, Germany
Unit of Analysis:
- Data derived from CATI survey on primary school selections conducted in 2001 in the city of Essen.
- The target population comprised all children of Turkish origin and all German children (without a migration background) entering one of Essen’s elementary schools in the 2001/2002 academic year.
- Of the 106, 83 elementary schools (78.3 per cent) provided a complete list of their incoming students.
- All Turkish students were selected; German students were selected using a disproportionate stratified random sample, with school type being the stratification criterion.
- Perception of school choice operationalized as response to the question of whether parents considered enrolling their child in a denominational school.
- Selection operationalized as whether, at the evaluation stage, individuals consider more than one school alternative.
- Access is operationalized as whether or not students gain access to schools that limit admission
- DV: Naming of different school types (i.e., as possible option for child to attend)
- IV: Father's education, speaking and writing skills, Turkish ethnicity