Teens who attend a new small high school have a better chance of graduating than their peers at larger, established schools, according to a study released yesterday by the research firm MDRC.
The study compares students who were accepted by lottery to one of 105 new schools to those who applied to the same school but did not get in. Fnded by the Gates Foundation, the study looked at students who entered a new small school -- mostly in Brooklyn and the Bronx -- between 2005 and 2008. It found that "67.9 percent of the students who entered small high schools in 2005 and 2006 graduated four years later, compared with 59.3 percent of the students who were not admitted and instead went to larger schools," the New York Times reports.
Education advocates say that while many of the new small schools opened by the Bloomberg administration post better results than the large, failing schools they replaced, not all of them are successful. In fact, the city is moving to close some of them.
"We do know that overall the small schools are successful. We also know that some of them are terrible failures. What we don't know is what makes some of them successful and some of them failures," Insideschools' Clara Hemphill told NY1 reporter Lindsey Christ. "The small schools did start out with a lot of energy. The question is whether that can be sustained."