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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
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  1. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters And Pilots," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 699-748.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2012. "Who Benefits from KIPP?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(4), pages 837-860, 09.
  3. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Joshua D. Angrist & Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "The Elite Illusion: Achievement Effects at Boston and New York Exam Schools," NBER Working Papers 17264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Thomas Dee, 2012. "School Turnarounds: Evidence from the 2009 Stimulus," NBER Working Papers 17990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lisa Barrow & Amy Claessens & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2013. "The Impact of Chicago's Small High School Initiative," NBER Working Papers 18889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "The Academic Achievement Gap in Grades 3 to 8," NBER Working Papers 12207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2002. "Teachers and student achievement in the Chicago public high schools," Working Paper Series WP-02-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Lisa Barrow & Lisa Markman & Cecilia E. Rouse, 2008. "Technology's Edge: The Educational Benefits of Computer-Aided Instruction," NBER Working Papers 14240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Douglas O. Staiger, 2012. "Knowledge, Tests, and Fadeout in Educational Interventions," NBER Working Papers 18038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Joseph G. Altonji, 1995. "The Effects of High School Curriculum on Education and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 409-438.
  13. 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.
  14. Joshua D. Angrist & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2013. "Explaining Charter School Effectiveness," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 1-27, October.
  15. David J. Deming & Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2014. "School Choice, School Quality, and Postsecondary Attainment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 991-1013, March.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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