The author considers the problem of differences in school paths in relation to environments. His analysis of changes in secondary and tertiary education after 1990 in Poland clearly shows the spreading of this level of education. As a consequence, the chances for continuing education are not easily available although the number of secondary schools have increased. However, together with the spreading of access to general and technical secondary schools there has appeared their internal differentiation. As a result, rural youth more often - compared to urban youth of the same age - continue education at upper secondary schools which are characterized by lower educational results. The problem is that differences in school paths in relation to environments (rural areas vs. urban ones) are not exactly consequences of differences between school effects but rather of young people's choice. In the case of rural youth the choices are the result of a pessimistic view of their own educational and life chances. In effect, rural youth a bit less think about taking up studies, or they consider less prestigious fields of studies and universities because of an easier recruitment process. Thus, instead of old differences in school paths between rural and urban youth determined mainly by different types of secondary schools, there have appeared new ones, more delicate, occurring within the same type of school.
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