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Who Benefits From Attending Effective Schools?

We estimate the longer-run effects of attending an effective high school (one that improves a combination of test scores, survey measures of socio-emotional development, and behaviors in 9th grade) for students who are more versus less educationally advantaged (i.e., likely to attain more years of education based on 8th-grade characteristics). All students benefit from attending effective schools, but the least advantaged students experience larger improvements in high-school graduation, college going, and school-based arrests. This heterogeneity is not solely due to less-advantaged groups being marginal for particular outcomes. Commonly used test-score value-added understates the long-run importance of effective schools, particularly for less-advantaged populations. Patterns suggest this partly reflects less-advantaged students being relatively more responsive to non-test-score dimensions of school quality.

school quality, socioemotional skills, causal impacts
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Jackson, C. Kirabo, Shanette C. Porter, John Q. Easton, and Sebastian Kiguel. (). Who Benefits From Attending Effective Schools?. (EdWorkingPaper: 20-336). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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