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The Effects of Performance-Based School Closure and Charter Takeover on Student Performance

October 17, 2016
By Whitney Bross, Douglas N. Harris, Lihan Liu

The Effects of Performance-Based School Closure and Charter Takeover on Student Performance

From the Abstract:

" Policymakers are increasingly using intensive interventions to improve low-performing traditional public schools, including closing these schools or turning them over to charter operators with performance-based contracts. Using matched sample difference-in-difference identification with students in Louisiana, we find that the effects vary widely by specific type of intervention, school level, and city/policy context. In Baton Rouge high schools, the interventions reduced high school graduation by 11 percentage points, while in New Orleans elementary schools, they apparently improved test scores by more than 0.3 standard deviations. The results tend to be more positive when schools are phased out rather than immediately closed and when students stay in the same school postintervention. The variation in results is predictable. The effects are generally positive when the interventions improve school quality and minimize disruption, and either null or negative otherwise. In other words, the results depend mainly on basic choices of policy, contract design, and enforcement."