Examines the effects of New York City’s small schools of choice (SSCs) effect on postsecondary enrollment, presented as a follow up to previous studies on this multi-year initiative.

“Since 2010, MDRC has released three research reports on the New York City Department of Education’s multiyear initiative to create small public high schools that are open to any student who wants to attend. This brief adds evidence from a fourth cohort on high school graduation and presents MDRC’s first results with respect to these schools’ effects on postsecondary enrollment. MDRC’s rigorous assessment has demonstrated that these schools have markedly increased graduation rates for disadvantaged students of color, many of whom start high school below grade level. Yet it is no longer enough to improve high school graduation rates. In an economy that is increasingly characterized by technological change and globalization, it is widely accepted that enrollment and success in postsecondary education is necessary for young people to be prepared for the world of work” (p.1).

“This policy brief updates MDRC’s research on SSCs by (1) updating high school graduation effects with an additional (fourth) student cohort and (2) following four student cohorts into postsecondary education. On the second point, it addresses the following questions:

•              What is the effect of attending an SSC on students’ rates of enrollment in postsecondary education?

•              To what extent does this effect differ for postsecondary institutions of varying selectivity?

•              To what extent does this effect differ by students’ background characteristics, such as their race, income, or prior academic achievement?

•              What is the effect of attending an SSC on students’ persistence over time in the pursuit of a postsecondary degree?” (p.2).


(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Headed to College: The Effects of New York City’s Small High Schools of Choice on Postsecondary Enrollment