We released a new report today, School Closures and Student Achievement: An Analysis of Ohio’s Urban District and Charter Schools, that could change the way we think about school closure. The study reveals that children displaced by closure make significant academic gains on state math and reading exams after their school closes.
The study examined 198 school closures that occurred between 2006 and 2012 in the Ohio ‘Big Eight’ urban areas (Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown). The research included 120 closed district-run schools and 78 closed charter schools. Taken together, these closures directly affected 22,722 students—disproportionately low-income, low-achieving, and minority students—who were in grades 3-8 at the point of closure.
Three years after closure, the research found that displaced students made the following cumulative gains:
- Students who had attended a closed district school gained forty-nine additional days of learning in reading and thirty-four additional days in math and;
- Students who had attended a closed charter school gained forty-six additional days in math.
Further, the study reveals that students who attended a higher-quality school after closure made even greater progress. Three years after closure, displaced students who transferred...