Closing schools in a shrinking district: Do student outcomes depend on which schools are closed?
Gema Zamarro and
Journal of Urban Economics, 2012, vol. 71, issue 2, 189-203
In the last decade, many cities around the country have needed to close schools due to declining enrollments and low achievement. School closings raise concerns about the possible negative impacts on student achievement, neighborhoods, families, and teaching staff. This study examines an anonymous urban district that, faced with declining enrollment, chose to make student achievement a major criterion in determining which schools would be closed. The district targeted low-performing schools in its closure plan, and sought to move their students to higher-performing schools. We estimate the impact of school closures on student test scores and attendance rates by comparing the growth of these measures among students differentially affected by the closures. We use residential assignment to school as an instrument to address non-random sorting of students into new schools. We also statistically control for the contemporaneous effects of other reforms within the district. Results show that students displaced by school closures can experience adverse effects on test scores and attendance, but these effects can be minimized when students move to schools that are higher-performing (in value-added terms). Moreover, the negative effect on attendance disappears after the first year in the new school. Meanwhile, we find no adverse effects on students in the schools that are receiving the transferring students.
Keywords: School closures; Value-added; Low-performing schools (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I22 I23 I24 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (20) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:juecon:v:71:y:2012:i:2:p:189-203
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Urban Economics is currently edited by S.S. Rosenthal and W.C. Strange
More articles in Journal of Urban Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().