Comparatively little is known on how social disparities caused during elementary school and the transition to secondary school develop within subsequent pathways through secondary school. The German school system generally allows for transitions between the different secondary school types. This openness of school tracks is supposed to enable later correction of misallocated pupils and thereby especially support children’s late increase in academic performance. Both transition directions are feasible: downward movements from upper to lower secondary school types as well as upward movements from lower to upper secondary school types.
The project investigates educational careers, especially transitions between tracks in the stratified system of secondary schools in Germany and their social selectivity. NEPS-Data from starting cohorts 3 and 4 are used to examine track changing decisions and selectivy mechanisms influencing educational careers. In the first funding phase we could mainly analyse starting cohort 4 retrospective data on the students school careers up to grade 9. Within the second funding phase, we seek to deepen our knowledge analysing longitudinal data from starting cohort 3 and the subsequent development of educational careers after grade 9 from starting cohort 4.