Tuesday, January 31, 2012

WWC Looks at the NYC Study of Small Schools


A new WWC quick review is also available this week, focusing on a recent study of New York City’s small schools.

• Transforming the High School Experience: How New York City’s New Small Schools Are Boosting Student Achievement and Graduation Rates—This study examined whether winning an admissions lottery for a small school of choice improved high school students’ progress toward graduation and graduation rates. The study analyzed data on more than 21,000 students in New York City who participated in a ninth-grade admissions lottery for a small school of choice. Study authors found that students who won an admissions lottery for a small school of choice showed statistically significant improvements in graduation prospects, compared to students who lost the same admissions lottery. The research described in the report meets WWC evidence standards with reservations because carrying out the lotteries using the method described in the report may have resulted in nonrandom differences between the study groups. Read the entire quick review here at

Quick reviews assess whether a study’s design meets WWC evidence standards. The WWC does not vouch for study findings or confirm their correctness.

To see other WWC reports, go to http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/

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