The effects of closing urban schools on students’ academic and behavioral outcomes: Evidence from Philadelphia
Matthew P. Steinberg, Assistant Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education ; John M. MacDonald, Professor of Criminology and Sociology, Department of Criminology
Economics of Education Review Volume 69, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Urban districts throughout the country are increasingly closing schools in response to declining enrollment and academic underperformance. We estimate the impact of public school closings in Philadelphia on student achievement and behavioral outcomes. While school closures had no effect on the average achievement of displaced students, achievement increased among displaced students attending higher-performing schools following closure. The achievement of students attending receiving-schools, however, was negatively affected by the receipt of displaced students. School absences increased significantly for displaced students following closure. We also find that the achievement of displaced and receiving-school students declined as the fraction of displaced students attending a receiving-school increased, and displaced students missed more days of school and received more suspension days the farther they traveled to their new school following closure. These findings suggest that the academic and behavioral consequences of closing urban schools depend on the school settings displaced and receiving-school students experience in the wake of closures.
Steinberg, M.P. & MacDonald, J.M. (2019). The effects of closing urban schools on students’ academic and behavioral outcomes: Evidence from Philadelphia. Economics of Education Review, 69(1), 25-60. Elsevier Ltd.