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The effect of school closings on student achievement

Quentin Brummet

Journal of Public Economics, 2014, vol. 119, issue C, 108-124

Abstract: Many school districts across the country are shutting schools, but school closing policies remain a very controversial issue. The current study investigates the effects of school closing policies on student achievement by examining over 200 school closings in Michigan. Relative to the previous literature, the analysis uses a broader set of school closings to thoroughly investigate heterogeneity in treatment effects based on the performance level of the closed school. The results indicate that, on average, school closings in Michigan did no persistent harm to the achievement of displaced students. Moreover, students displaced from relatively low-performing schools experience achievement gains. The displacement of students and teachers creates modest negative spillover effects on the receiving schools, however. Hence, the closing of low-performing schools may generate some achievement gains for displaced students, but not without imposing spillover effects on a large number of students in receiving schools.

Keywords: School closings; Student mobility; School quality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H40 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.06.010

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