Are Middle Schools More Effective?: The Impact of School Structure on Student Outcomes
While nearly half of all school districts have adopted middle schools, there is little quantitative evidence of the efficacy of this educational structure. We estimate the impact of moving from a junior high school system, where students stay in elementary school longer, to a middle school system for on-time high school completion. This is a particularly good outcome measure because middle school advocates argued that this new system would be especially helpful for lower achieving students. In contrast to the stated objective, we find that moving to a middle school system decreases on-time high school completion by approximately 1–3 percent.
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