Cover: Assessing the Short-term Impact of the New York City Renewal Schools Program

Assessing the Short-term Impact of the New York City Renewal Schools Program

Published Apr 5, 2019

by Isaac M. Opper, William R. Johnston, John Engberg, Lea Xenakis

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In this report prepared for the New York City Chancellor's Office, we estimate short-term impacts of the New York City Renewal Schools Program based on the first two full years of program implementation. We utilize a novel method of multiple rating regression discontinuity design (MRRDD) that leverages the selection criteria used to select schools as Renewal or non-Renewal Schools. This method provides rigorous causal treatment effect estimates of the Renewal Schools Program, but only for the schools that barely qualified for the program. Our analysis suggests that the Renewal Schools program is helping to improve student attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism, while also increasing the amount of credits earned among high school students. These effects grew over the years of implementation. On the other hand, we find dropout rates worsened very slightly among Renewal Schools, but there was no systematic trend over the years in this effect. We find no statistically significant effects of the program on student achievement measures, nor do we find any statistically significant effects on any of the measures in the New York City Quality Review rubric. We also found evidence suggesting that among high school students the program impact was strongest at schools with greater levels of student economic needs.

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