Small school students show gains

New York City’s small public high schools are producing gains for disadvantaged students, according to a new MDRC study, Sustained Progress.

Students who win the admissions lottery to these schools are significantly more likely to earn a high school diploma (70.4 percent) than applicants who lost the lottery (60.9 percent) than lottery losers. Small schools  increased the graduation rates of special-education students by 13.8 percentage points and of English Language Learners by 4.9 percentage points, MDRC suggests, though the sample size is small.

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  1. Ann in L.A. says:

    Too bad the Gates Foundation jettisoned it’s initial push for small-schools, and took on the Common Core instead. ( ) So far, the former has shown to work, but the jury’s still out on the latter.

  2. FTA – “a multi-year study of the city’s small schools of choice”.

    So it’s not just a small school but a small school of *choice*, i.e. a charter. Gosh, I wonder why they’re “small public high schools” when a more accurate description would be “charter school”?

    Oh and look, those charter schools are doing a better job for the kids they’re supposed to avoid then are the district schools.

    • These are district-run choice schools, not charters.

    • Distinction without a difference other then when the school board gets tired of putting up with the loss of control inherent in choice. Then district “choice” schools evaporate, being creatures of the district, and charters don’t.

  3. Like pre-school, small schools are probably good for struggling students. On the other hand, schools like New Trier are huge and produce excellent results. Problems arise with a “one solution for all” approach.