Presentación Justine Hustings (Brown University)

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Presentación Justine Hustings (Brown University)

  1. 1. School Choice in the USA: Policy Questions and Evidence from Social Experiments<br />Justine Hastings, PhD<br />Brown University Economics <br />Yale University ISPS <br />National Bureau of Economic Research<br />
  2. 2. Motivating US Public Education Facts<br />Spending has more than doubled in real terms; achievement has remained constant<br />Over 40 percent of minority students attend high schools with graduation rates under 60 percent<br />“drop out factories” - Balfanz and Legters 2004<br />Improving quality of education is a key potential driver of economic growth and equal opportunity<br />More so with current growth in light of the increasing wage returns to higher education (Turner 2004; Dynarski 2008; Heckman and LaFontaine 2010; Acemoglu and Autor 2010)<br />
  3. 3. Two views<br />Low educational achievement is caused by poverty<br />Conversely, poverty is caused by low educational achievement <br />Suggests a testable hypothesis<br />Can educators and policy makers impact achievement and poverty?<br />“Education is the civil rights movement of today” – Dacial Toll, Achievement First Schools<br />
  4. 4. No Child Left Behind Act<br />Student growth must be measured (most districts did not keep data)<br />Student growth must be achieved across the board (subgroup requirements); 100% on grade level in reading and math by 2014<br />Consequences for not meeting growth targets:<br />School choice<br />Private tutoring set aside funds<br />Restructuring<br />Current administration:<br />Stimulus dollars liked to data; validation<br />
  5. 5. Choice Provisions in NCLB<br />“When all students … are provided high-quality educational options, and when parents receive enough information to make intelligent choices among those options, public school choice can increase both equity and quality in education.” <br />- - Dept. of Ed. NCLB Public School Choice Guide <br />Increase in equity and quality generated from<br />Short term ability to attend higher achieving school and benefit from it<br />Long term demand-side pressure for underperforming schools through threat of losing students<br />Both implicitly assume all parents choose for academic achievement when given the opportunity to do so<br />If disadvantaged families place less weight on academics; schools serving them have little pressure to improve (position 1)<br />If proximity is important and capacity constraints binding, competitive pressure may be muted in urban areas of dense poverty (LA Unified)<br />
  6. 6. What have we learned?<br />The ‘choice gap’ can perpetuate the achievement gap<br />Information can erase the choice gap<br />Incentives for information provision are not automatic<br />Schools matter; poverty does not cause poor achievement<br />Charter school entry is important in areas of urban poor density<br />Vouchers have not been politically viable in the US<br />Teachers are an important factor in education <br />Developing alternative compensation models is important for educating urban poor. <br />
  7. 7. Choice gap perpetuates the achievement gap<br />Results from policy experiment from public schools North Carolina<br />Estimate mixed logit demand for schools<br />High income parents of high achieving students place largest weights on academics<br />African American parents face trade-offs between social match and academic performance<br />Proximity is a key determinant of choice for many parents; narrowing the effective competitive market among public schools<br />Use demand estimates to simulate demand response if a school were to raise test scores, holding all else constant<br />High-performing schools face strong increase in demand, low performing schools gain little demand from improving<br />Analogy to product markets - Walmart vs. the Mom-and-Pop store<br />
  8. 8. Distribution in Difference Between 1st-Choice and Home-school Scores<br />
  9. 9. Simulated demand response<br />
  10. 10. Information erases choice and achievement gaps<br />Why the gap in preferences for academics? <br />Low intrinsic value (position 1)<br />High information costs (McFadden (2006), Winter et al. (2006)).<br />Analyze data two experiments to test these two hypothesis<br />2004 implementation of NCLB in North Carolina<br />Field experiment in transparent information within the school choice plan<br />Compare choices of parent for schools before and after NCLB-mandated information on school academic performance <br />Conducted a field experiment with transparent information on school test scores distributed with choice forms to randomly selected. <br />In both cases, demand for outside schools and quality of choices increases substantially<br />Increased weight placed on academics ~ 75,000 in income<br />
  11. 11. Distribution of Gains in Score of School Chosen: Received Information vs. Control Group<br />Note: We use the Epanechnikov kernel and the optimal width as computed by default in Stata.<br />
  12. 12. Impact on Student Outcomes<br />Attending a school with 1 student-level st.dev. Higher test score leads to a 0.37 to 0.41 increase in own test.<br />Equivalent to observational impact of moving from bottom quartile teacher to top quartile teacher<br />Similar to test score gains for students with highest preferences for academics in prior paper.<br />Opening choice leads with information leads to lowering of achievement gap in the short run.<br />
  13. 13. However, issues still remain<br />Proximity is important especially for elementary and middle school students.<br />What do you do with empty schools? What do you do with large urban districts? <br />Enter Charter schools - growing body of research using lottery admissions that show big impacts:<br />Hoxby and Murarka 2009 (New York); Wolf et al. 2008 (DC Vouchers); Abdulkadiroğlu et al. 2011 (New York); Dobbie and Fryer 2011 (New York); Angrist et al. 2011 (Boston); Hastings, Neilson and Zimmerman 2011 (New Haven)<br />Most find substantial positive impacts on math and reading for urban students from disadvantaged backgrounds.<br />What is different about charter schools that fill the void in traditional public schools?<br />Location<br />Teacher compensation (evidence from NC as well)<br />Class hours (substitution for home inputs) <br />No-excuses policy (no excuses why schools can’t raise achievement)<br />Is this a scalable solution? <br />
  14. 14. Closing thoughts<br />Achievement is possible for students from all backgrounds<br />Likely not a one-stop solution, however a few guiding principles:<br />Increased choice and compensation reform are likely to help; <br />However, simple economic models are likely to fall short in big ways when implemented in practice, and particularly for those who need social safety nets the most<br />Market design is an important aspect of public and private markets (read Nudge)<br />As with industry<br />Know your customer<br />Test policies empirically using randomized control trials guided by theory<br />Age of data facilitates this<br />
  15. 15. And beyond standardized test scores? <br />First cohorts of charter and public school students are of college going and graduation age<br />Evidence from NC (Deming, Hastings, Kane and Staiger 2011)<br />Students coming from lowest performing schools choosing to attend schools with higher college graduation levels<br />Experience significant gains in high school graduation, college enrollment and degree completion. <br />Closes 75% of black-white HS graduation gap, 23% of gap in BA degree completion<br />

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