Foundations for Education Excellence. Helping foundations leverage public and private funds for improving education.
Foundation Center

Knowledge From the Field

Sustained Positive Effects on Graduation Rates Produced by New York City's Small Public High Schools of Choice

Published: January 2012

Publisher(s): MDRC

Author(s): Bloom, Howard S.; Rebecca Unterman

Funder(s): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

View Report (12 pages; 178KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Low-Performing Schools


This policy brief summarizes student outcomes at “small schools of choice” (SSCs)—academically nonselective public high schools serving some of the district’s most disadvantaged students and located mainly in neighborhoods where large failing high schools had been closed. A follow-up to a previous report, this brief extends the analysis by a year, adding information on high school graduation rates across subgroups of students.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+The positive average effect of SSCs on four-year graduation rates was sustained through a second student cohort.

+SSCs increased four-year high school graduation rates appreciably for all subgroups studied (prior academic proficiency, family income, race/ethnicity, gender).

=The effect of SSCs on five-year graduation rates was almost identical to the effect of SSCs on four-year graduation rates.  

Focus: New York City

Subjects/Keywords: Disadvantaged; Graduation; High School; Low-Income; Minority; Reform; Secondary Education

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
© Foundation Center
All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy