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What Can Be Done to Improve Struggling High Schools?

  • Julie Berry Cullen
  • Steven D. Levitt
  • Erin Robertson
  • Sally Sadoff

In spite of decades of well-intentioned efforts targeted at struggling high schools, outcomes today are little improved. A handful of innovative programs have achieved great success on a small scale, but more generally, the economic futures of the students at the bottom of the human capital distribution remain dismal. In our view, expanding access to educational options that focus on life skills and work experience, as opposed to a focus on traditional definitions of academic success, represents the most cost-effective, broadly implementable source of improvements for this group.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.27.2.133
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/jep/ds/2702/2702-0133_ds.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 133-52

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:27:y:2013:i:2:p:133-52
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.27.2.133
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/
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  1. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2009. "The Academic Achievement Gap in Grades 3 to 8," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 398-419, May.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2010. "Who Benefits from KIPP?," NBER Working Papers 15740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua Angrist & Parag Pathak, 2014. "The Elite Illusion: Achievement Effects at Boston and New York Exam Schools," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 137-196, 01.
  4. David J. Deming & Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2011. "School Choice, School Quality and Postsecondary Attainment," NBER Working Papers 17438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2011. "Exam High Schools and Academic Achievement: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2011. "Explaining Charter School Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 17332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
  8. 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 158-87, July.
  9. Card, David & Payne, A. Abigail, 2002. "School finance reform, the distribution of school spending, and the distribution of student test scores," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 49-82, January.
  10. Joseph G. Altonji, 1992. "The Effects of High School Curriculum on Education and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 4142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lisa Barrow & Lisa Markman & Cecilia Rouse, 2008. "Technology's Edge: The Educational Benefits of Computer-Aided Instruction," Working Papers 1060, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
  12. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Joshua Angrist & Susan Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag Pathak, 2009. "Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters and Pilots," NBER Working Papers 15549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Barrow, Lisa & Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore & Claessens, Amy, 2014. "The Impact of Chicago's Small High School Initiative," Working Paper Series WP-2014-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  15. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2000. "The Impact of School Choice on Student Outcomes: An Analysis of the Chicago Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 7888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Thomas Dee, 2012. "School Turnarounds: Evidence from the 2009 Stimulus," NBER Working Papers 17990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Douglas O. Staiger, 2012. "Knowledge, Tests, and Fadeout in Educational Interventions," NBER Working Papers 18038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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