School Closures and Student Achievement: An Analysis of Ohio’s Urban District and Charter Schools

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In part, the school choice strategy is based upon the idea that creating a competitive market will force chronically low-performing schools to close. In this study, commissioned by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, researchers examine the impact of school closures on the students they displace. The study compares the achievement data of displaced students with achievement data for students attending non-closing schools in eight of Ohio’s large urban districts. Researchers found that displaced students made gains in reading and math after they changed schools-especially if they landed in higher performing schools. The researchers emphasize that closing low-performing schools is a promising strategy only if the quality of closed schools is lower than nearby schooling options.

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