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Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Their Students' Achievement

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  • Caroline M. Hoxby
  • Sonali Murarka

Abstract

We analyze all but a few of the 47 charter schools operating in New York City in 2005-06. The schools tend locate in disadvantaged neighborhoods and serve students who are substantially poorer than the average public school student in New York City. The schools also attract black applicants to an unusual degree, not only relative to New York City but also relative to the traditional public schools from which they draw. The vast majority of applicants are admitted in lotteries that the schools hold when oversubscribed, and the vast majority of the lotteries are balanced. By balanced, we mean that we cannot reject the hypothesis that there are no differences in the observable characteristics of lotteried-in and lotteried-out students. Using the lotteries to form an intention-to-treat variable, we instrument for actual enrollment and compute the charter schools' average treatment-on-the-treated effects on achievement. These are 0.09 standard deviations per year of treatment in math and 0.04 standard deviations per year in reading. We estimate correlations between charter schools' policies and their effects on achievement. The policy with the most notable and robust association is a long school year--as long as 220 days in the charter schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline M. Hoxby & Sonali Murarka, 2009. "Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Their Students' Achievement," NBER Working Papers 14852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14852
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    1. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-660, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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