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The new school advantage? Examining the effects of strategic new school openings on student achievement

Ayesha K. Hashim, Katharine O. Strunk and Julie A. Marsh

Economics of Education Review, 2018, vol. 62, issue C, 254-266

Abstract: This paper examines the effects of strategic new school openings (SNSOs) on student achievement at brand new (“relief”) campuses built to alleviate overcrowding at neighboring “feeder” campuses in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). We focus on a subset of schools involved in LAUSD's Public School Choice Initiative (PSCI), which aimed to increase high quality school options by awarding management of newly-constructed relief schools to diverse operators based on innovative and evidence-based school plans and autonomies from district policies. We employ a Comparative Interrupted Time Series approach using administrative student-level data that tracks students for 10 years, following students in the first (1.0) and second (2.0) cohorts of PSCI schools for three and two years of implementation, respectively. We find that relief school openings had negative start-up effects on student achievement, but led to improved achievement in subsequent years of PSCI. We find suggestive evidence that improvements made to the reform after the first round of relief school openings helped Cohort 2.0 schools perform significantly better than Cohort 1.0 schools.

Keywords: Education reform; School construction; Comparative interrupted time series (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 H4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.12.002

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