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The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes

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  • Will Dobbie
  • Roland G. Fryer, Jr

Abstract

High-performing charter schools can significantly increase the test scores of poor urban students. It is unclear whether these test score gains translate into improved outcomes later in life. We estimate the effects of high-performing charter schools on human capital, risky behaviors, and health outcomes using survey data from the Promise Academy in the Harlem Children's Zone. Six years after the random admissions lottery, youth offered admission to the Promise Academy middle school score 0.283 standard deviations higher on a nationally-normed math achievement test and are 14.1 percentage points more likely to enroll in college. Admitted females are 12.1 percentage points less likely to be pregnant in their teens, and males are 4.3 percentage points less likely to be incarcerated. We find little impact of the Promise Academy on self-reported health. We conclude with speculative evidence that high-performing schools may be sufficient to significantly improve human capital and reduce certain risky behaviors among the poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2013. "The Medium-Term Impacts of High-Achieving Charter Schools on Non-Test Score Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 19581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19581
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. 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.
    7. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
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    11. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2011. "Injecting Successful Charter School Strategies into Traditional Public Schools: A Field Experiment in Houston," NBER Working Papers 17494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Singleton, John, 2017. "Incentives and the Supply of Effective Charter Schools," MPRA Paper 83532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Poh Lin Tan, 2017. "The impact of school entry laws on female education and teenage fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 503-536, April.
    3. Kevin Booker & Brian Gill & Tim Sass & Ron Zimmer, "undated". "Charter High Schools' Effects on Long-Term Attainment and Earnings (Working Paper)," Mathematica Policy Research Reports cfe561a4b1924b7eafb64f918, Mathematica Policy Research.
    4. Carlson, Deven & Lavertu, Stéphane, 2016. "Charter school closure and student achievement: Evidence from Ohio," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 31-48.
    5. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Ron Zimmer, 2015. "Charter Schools: A Survey of Research on Their Characteristics and Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 21256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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