Monday, August 12, 2013

Effects of Boston's Charter High Schools on College Preparation, Entry, and Choice

The authors of this study estimated the effects of attendance at
Boston's charter high schools on college preparation, college
attendance, and college choice. Charter attendance increases pass
rates on the high-stakes exam required for high school graduation in
Massachusetts, with especially large effects on the likelihood of
qualifying for a state-sponsored college scholarship. Charter
attendance has little effect on the likelihood of taking the SAT, but
shifts the distribution of scores rightward, moving students into
higher quartiles of the state SAT score distribution. Boston's
charter high schools also increase the likelihood of taking an
Advanced Placement (AP) exam, the number of AP exams taken, and
scores on AP Calculus tests. Finally, charter attendance induces a
substantial shift from two- to four-year institutions, though the
effect on overall college enrollment is modest. The increase in
four-year enrollment is concentrated among four-year public
institutions in Massachusetts. The large gains generated by Boston's
charter high schools are unlikely to be generated by changes in peer
composition or other peer effects.

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