Will Dobbie and Roland Fryer return with a new look at medium-term results of charter schools, most specifically the Harlem Promise Academy.
Most evaluation of education policy looks at test scores, in part because they’re easily measurable. This is subject to two significant criticisms: test scores are too easily manipulable and test scores are awfully imperfect measures of what we really care about anyhow. Dobbie and Fryer have followed the Harlem Promise Academy for some years, and are able to compare important non-test, late adolescent outcomes for students who got in to the Academy middle school to the outcomes for students who didn’t get in. (Getting in was determined by a lottery.)
Some of the results:
- Lottery winners are twice as likely to enroll in a four-year college.
- They are twice as likely to take and pass advanced exams in chemistry and geometry.
- Not much happens to self-reported health differences.
- Girls who won the lottery are much less likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
- Boys who won the lottery are much, much less likely to end up in jail.
Good news about good outcomes that go well beyond test scores.