Closing Low-Performing Schools is a Failing Reform Strategy | National Education Policy Center


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Key Takeaway: Closing schools to improve student achievement is, at best, a “high-risk/low-gain” strategy.

BOULDER, CO (May 18, 2017) – Federal and state school accountability policies have used standardized test results to shine a spotlight on low-performing schools.

A remedy offered to “turn around” low-performance in school districts is the option to close the doors of the low-performing schools and send students elsewhere.School Closure as a Strategy to Remedy Low Performance, authored by Gail L. Sunderman of the University of Maryland, and Erin Coghlan and Rick Mintrop of the University of California, Berkeley, investigates whether closing schools and transferring students for the purpose of remedying low performance is an effective option for educational decision makers to pursue.Closing schools in response to low student performance is based on the premise that by closing low-performing schools and sending students to better-performing ones, student achievement will improve.

The higher-performing schools, it is reasoned…

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