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Giving Compass' Take:
• Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat goes over 5 things learned from studies and research on school closures in America.
• School closures have a great and versatile impact on communities, teachers, students, families, and more. How can donors drive support to those effected by school closures?
The Oakland school board has a problem: too many schools and too few students. To stay afloat, the district plans to close as many as two dozen schools over the next five years.
That decision has not gone over well with the teachers and students affected.
Chalkbeat reviewed 17 studies published over the last decade, which look at how closures affected students’ academic performance in different cities and states. (You can find all the studies here.) They help answer a key question for those who fear closures hurt students academically — though they can’t capture other impacts of school closing on a community.
Here’s what we learned:
- In many places, closures hurt students academically; in some others, they helped. Nationwide, closures appear to slightly lower test scores.
- It really matters the quality of the school displaced students end up moving to.
- In some cases, other students do (slightly) worse when their schools receive an influx of students from closed schools.
- Researchers know little about how school closures affect future students.
- The impact of a school closure on communities and students goes beyond academics, and researchers have documented consequences that aren’t easy to measure.
Read the full article about research on school closures by Matt Barnum at Chalkbeat