Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Advancing academic opportunities for disadvantaged youth: third year impact evaluation of a privately-managed school in a poor neighborhood in Montevideo

Balsa, Ana and Cid, Alejandro (2014): Advancing academic opportunities for disadvantaged youth: third year impact evaluation of a privately-managed school in a poor neighborhood in Montevideo. Forthcoming in: Páginas de Educación - Revista de la Universidad Católica del Uruguay

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Abstract

We study the three-year impact of a private tuition-free middle school on the academic outcomes of poor students. Several features of the treatment school fit with innovative paradigms that have delivered successful outcomes in poor urban areas. Our research design exploits the excess of applicants over the school capacity and the fact that participants were selected randomly. Specifically, we follow a cohort of students that entered middle school in 2010 and that were randomly assigned to attend the treatment school or public school as usual. We find that the treatment school impacted favorably on students’ academic advancement and math competencies. Also, the treatment school had a positive–and quite robust over time- impact on students’ and their parents’ academic expectations. This culture of high expectations has been previously identified in the literature as a key input for school success.

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