Scheduling Conflicts: Measuring the Academic Impact of Co-location on Grades 3-8 Traditional Public and Charter Schools in New York City, 2006-2010
Baumgartner, Scott Edward
Co-location, when two or more schools are sited in the same building, is a policy undertaken in many school districts to reduce costs and use buildings more efficiently in the face of declining enrollment and a tightening budgetary picture. Co-location is also used to provide facilities to charter schools. This paper uses a fixed effects model to examine the impact of co-location on student achievement in grades 3-8 in New York City, where nearly half of all public schools share building space with one or more other schools. Separate results are presented for co-location, co-location with multiple schools, and co-location with charter schools. I find no overall effect of co-location on grade-level average scores of New York State's standardized tests in either math or English language arts. However, my results indicate that co-location may have some positive effects in elementary grades and some negative effects in middle school. In the conclusion of my paper, I hypothesize why different grades may respond differently to co-location, including differences in the nature of instruction, school climate, and the sensitivity of middle school-aged students to exogenous factors such as community disapproval of co-location.
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