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School Turnarounds: Evidence from the 2009 Stimulus

Thomas S. Dee

Stanford University - School of Education; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

April 2012

NBER Working Paper No. w17990

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) targeted substantial School Improvement Grants (SIGs) to the nation's "persistently lowest achieving" public schools (i.e., up to $2 million per school annually over 3 years) but required schools accepting these awards to implement a federally prescribed school-reform model. Schools that met the "lowest-achieving" and "lack of progress" thresholds within their state had prioritized eligibility for these SIG-funded interventions. Using data from California, this study leverages these two discontinuous eligibility rules to identify the effects of SIG-funded whole-school reforms. The results based on these "fuzzy" regression-discontinuity designs indicate that there were significant improvements in the test-based performance of schools on the "lowest-achieving" margin but not among schools on the "lack of progress" margin. Complementary panel-based estimates suggest that these improvements were largely concentrated among schools adopting the federal "turnaround" model, which compels more dramatic staff turnover.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

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Date posted: April 13, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Dee, Thomas S., School Turnarounds: Evidence from the 2009 Stimulus (April 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17990. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2039208

Contact Information

Thomas S. Dee (Contact Author)
Stanford University - School of Education ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305-3096
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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