School Quality/Resources

The effects of NCLB on school resources and practices

A number of studies have examined the impact of school accountability policies, including No Child Left Behind (NCLB), on student achievement. However, there is relatively little evidence on how school accountability reforms and NCLB, in particular, have influenced education policies and practices. This study examines the effects of NCLB on multiple district, school, and teacher traits using district-year financial data and pooled cross sections of teacher and principal surveys.

Trends in School Economic Segregation, 1970 to 2010

Trends in the racial segregation of schools are well documented, but less is known about trends in schools’ economic segregation. We use multiple data sources to document trends from 1970 to 2010 in between-district residential segregation and in both between-district and between-school enrollment segregation by income. We find that between-district residential segregation among all families grew from 1970 to 1990 and again from 1990-2010.

The effects of school size on parental involvement and social capital: Evidence from the ELS: 2002

An increasingly prominent approach to school reform emphasizes the possible benefits of creating smaller schools. Proponents argue that small schools are more effective than large schools at promoting student achievement, in large part because they have positive effects on the engagement and social interactions of students and staff. The analysis presented here explores another potentially distinct effect of small schools: the enhanced involvement of students’ parents in the school and the promotion of social capital in the larger community.

Turning around chronically low-performing schools: A practice guide

The goal of this practice guide is to formulate specific and coherent evidence-based recommendations for use by educators aiming to quickly and dramatically improve student achievement in low-performing schools. Although schoolwide reform models exist, most assume a slow and steady approach to school reform. They do not seek to achieve the kind of quick school turnaround we examine in this practice guide. That is not to say that schools using a packaged schoolwide reform model could not experience dramatic and quick results.

Competition and the quality of public schools

A growing body of empirical research has provided provocative evidence that competition from private schools improves student achievement in neighboring public schools. However, this uniform conclusion has been based on fundamentally different empirical specifications. This study examines the importance of these different specifications by presenting new evidence on the relationship between public school quality and competition from private schools.

The Non-cognitive Returns to Class Size

The authors use nationally representative survey data and a research design that relies on contemporaneous within-student and within-teacher comparisons across two academic subjects to estimate how class size affects certain non-cognitive skills in middle school. Their results indicate that smaller eighth-grade classes are associated with improvements in several measures of school engagement, with effect sizes ranging from .05 to .09 and smaller effects persisting 2 years later.

School size in Chicago elementary schools: Effects on teachers’ attitudes and students’ achievement

This study explores whether teachers and students are influenced by the size of the inner-city elementary school to which they belong. Focusing on teachers' attitudes about their responsibility for student learning and students' l-year gains in mathematics achievement scores, we used data from almost 5,000 teachers and 23,000 sixth and eighth-grade students in 264 K-8 Chicago schools. The data were collected through 1997 surveys and annual standardized tests. We employed hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to estimate school effects.