Exam High Schools and Academic Achievement: Evidence from New York City

56 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2011 Last revised: 27 Mar 2022

See all articles by Will Dobbie

Will Dobbie

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Roland G. Fryer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; University of Chicago

Date Written: August 2011

Abstract

Publicly funded exam schools educate many of the world's most talented students. These schools typically contain higher achieving peers, more rigorous instruction, and additional resources compared to regular public schools. This paper uses a sharp discontinuity in the admissions process at three prominent exam schools in New York City to provide the first causal estimate of the impact of attending an exam school in the United States on longer term academic outcomes. Attending an exam school increases the rigor of high school courses taken and the probability that a student graduates with an advanced high school degree. Surprisingly, however, attending an exam school has little impact on Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, college enrollment, or college graduation -- casting doubt on their ultimate long term impact.

Suggested Citation

Dobbie, Will and Fryer, Roland G., Exam High Schools and Academic Achievement: Evidence from New York City (August 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17286, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1908574

Will Dobbie (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Roland G. Fryer

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

American Bar Foundation

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
71
Abstract Views
707
Rank
614,134
PlumX Metrics