SUCCESS TO THE SUCCESSFUL
In the success to the successful scenario, two or more parties compete for a common limited resource (e.g., time, funds, attention, space, food), which is controlled by an external party. As one party has greater success, he or she is rewarded with more resources enabling future success, while the party or parties with lesser success lose resources as a consequence, causing their further diminishing success.
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Over the Counter, Under the Radar: Inequitably Distributing New York City's Late-Enrolling High School Students is a provocative report that examines the high school assignment patterns of the approximately thirty-six thousand students in New York City who are either late enrolling or miss the high school choice process each year. These kids are labeled "Over The Counter" (OTC) and they represent high need student populations in the city's school system.
The report identifies twenty-five high schools with the fewest OTC students each year from 2008 through 2001 and twenty-eight schools with the most OTC students from 2008 to 2011. The schools with the lowest percentages of OTC students are some of the highest performing high schools in the city while the schools with the highest percentages of OTC turn out to be some of the lowest performing schools in the city. The percentage of OTC students in the high performing, low OTC schools ranged from one percent to ten percent of OTC students from 2008 to 2011. The percentage of OTC students in the low performing, high OTC schools ranged from twenty-one percent to sixty-four percent during that same time period.
These data are emblematic of a classic systems thinking archetype that is playing out at the extremes of our citywide school performance distribution. At one end of the curve are lower performing schools and at the other end of the curve are higher performing schools. The success to the successful archetype helps explain the dynamics that perpetuate and exacerbate the inequities at the extremes.To explore the model, open the Success To The Successful presentation below.