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When Schools Close

October 2009

Marisa de la Torre, Julia Gwynne


The article looked at 26 schools in Chicago that were considered poor performing or suffered from chronic underutilization. They looked at how students did after migrating to new schools and compared their performance to students who hadn’t moved from similar schools. Overall there was no real negative or positive change in students who moved schools. Some students who went to academically stronger schools noticed a positive change.

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Policy Implications

The main takeaway from this study appears to be that closing schools based on poor performance and moving those students to other schools doesn’t help the root problem as to why students are under performing. Instead of closing schools to save money, policy makers should look at other areas in save and invest in to help improve the quality of these schools.

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