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The Effects of Race to the Top School Turnaround in North Carolina

Federal education policies gave political and financial support for state education agencies to turnaround low-performing schools on an unprecedented scale. North Carolina’s ambitious program turned around over half of all schools nationwide that underwent turnaround funded by Race to the Top. Exploiting the assignment to turnaround based on schools’ 2009-10 proficiency rates, we implement  regression discontinuity designs to estimate the effects of state turnaround services on student achievement in North Carolina’s lowest-performing schools annually from the 2011-12 through 2014-15. Overall, we find modest positive effects of turnaround when including treated schools at all grade levels, but these effects are sensitive to bandwidth. For secondary schools, we find consistently positive effects that vary from modest to large. For elementary and middle schools, we find consistent, modest negative effects of turnaround on student achievement.

Turnaround, Race to the Top, School Improvement
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Henry, Gary T., and J. Edward Guthrie. (). The Effects of Race to the Top School Turnaround in North Carolina. (EdWorkingPaper: 19-107). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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