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Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Increase Achievement among the Poor? Evidence from the Harlem Children's Zone

Author

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  • Will Dobbie
  • Roland G. Fryer

Abstract

Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), an ambitious social experiment, combines community programs with charter schools. We provide the first empirical test of the causal impact of HCZ charters on educational outcomes. Both lottery and instrumental variable identification strategies suggest that the effects of attending an HCZ middle school are enough to close the black-white achievement gap in mathematics. The effects in elementary school are large enough to close the racial achievement gap in both mathematics and ELA. We conclude with evidence that suggests high-quality schools are enough to significantly increase academic achievement among the poor. Community programs appear neither necessary nor sufficient. (JEL H75, I21, I28, J13, R23)

Suggested Citation

  • Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Increase Achievement among the Poor? Evidence from the Harlem Children's Zone," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 158-187, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:158-87 Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.3.158
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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