Jennifer Jennings: Leveling the Playing Field for School Choice in New York City


Monday, September 21, 2015, 12:00pm to 1:45pm


Harvard Kennedy School: Allison Dining Room

Jennifer Jennings, Assistant Professor of Sociology, New York University.

School choice can potentially serve as a strategy for improving the outcomes of low-income students. But for school choice to be effective, low-income students and their families need the resources, information, and supports to select high-performing high schools.

Even when students have information about school quality, they may not use it effectively and may not know how to improve their chances of getting into selective high schools. These issues are especially important in New York City, home to the nation’s largest high school choice program. This seminar will explore these issues.

About the speaker

Jennifer Jennings is Assistant Professor of Sociology at New York University. She holds an appointment in the NYU Steinhardt School of Education and is a faculty affiliate with NYU's Global Institute of Public Health.

Jennings focuses on issues of education, stratification, and racial, socioeconomic, and gender disparities in educational achievement. Her research appears in the American Sociological Review, Sociology of Education, and Social Science Research, among others.

She is currently writing a book, Why Schools Matter: The Impact of Schools on Children's Life Chances, co-authored with David Deming and Christopher Jencks.

She has recently launched (with collaborators Sarah Cohodes, Sean Corcoran, and Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj), a new randomized intervention study funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, which will investigate the impact of providing NYC middle-school students with informational resources and supports to help them make informed high school choices.

Professor Jennings received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University in 2009 and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University in 2009-2011.

She has received grants and awards from the William T. Grant Foundation, Spencer Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the American Educational Research Association. 

In 2015, she was honored with a Golden Dozen Undergraduate Teaching Award from the NYU College of Arts and Sciences.

See also: Fall 2015