WWC review of this study

Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the New York City Community Schools Initiative.

Johnston, William R., Engberg, John, Opper, Isaac M., Sontag-Padilla, Lisa, Xenakis, Lea. (2020). Research Report. RR-3245-NYCCEO. RAND Corporation. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED612287

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    510
     Schools
    , grades
    3-12

Reviewed: July 2021

At least one finding shows moderate evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Completing high school (long-run) outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Proportion graduated

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Full sample; high schools;
142,833 students

83.87

79.00

Yes

 
 
8
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Proportion graduated

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Cohort 1; high schools;
47,863 students

83.68

79.00

Yes

 
 
7

Proportion graduated

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Cohort 2: high schools;
46,532 students

81.78

79.00

Yes

--
General Literacy Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Average ELA test score

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Full sample; grades 3-8;
1,161,479 students

-0.50

-0.51

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Average ELA test score

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Cohort 1; grades 3-8;
390,688 students

-0.51

-0.51

No

--
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Average Math Test Score

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Full sample; grades 3-8;
1,145,276 students

-0.51

-0.58

Yes

 
 
3
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Average Math Test Score

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Cohort 1; grades 3-8;
386,592 students

-0.55

-0.58

No

--
Progressing in secondary school or adult education outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Credits accumulated

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Full sample; high schools;
704,322 students

11.96

10.69

Yes

 
 
12
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Credits accumulated

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Cohort 1; high schools;
171 schools

11.87

10.60

Yes

--
Secondary school attendance outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Proportion chronically absent

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Full sample; high schools;
657,968 students

42.72

51.00

Yes

 
 
8
 
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Proportion chronically absent

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Cohort 2; high schools;
218,681 students

41.60

51.00

Yes

 
 
9

Proportion chronically absent

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Cohort 1; high schools;
222,072 students

44.94

51.00

Yes

 
 
6
Student engagement in school outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Number of disciplinary incidents

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Full sample; high schools;
718,097 students

0.33

0.33

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Number of disciplinary incidents

NYC Community Schools vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Cohort 1; high schools;
171 schools

0.33

0.32

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 17% English language learners

  • 88% Free or reduced price lunch
  • Race
    Asian
    3%
    Black
    40%
    Not specified
    54%
    White
    2%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    53%
    Not Hispanic
    47%

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    New York

Setting

The study took place in 510 elementary, middle, and high schools in New York City, 113 of which were Community Schools.

Study sample

A total of 113 Community Schools and 397 comparison schools participated in the study. In these schools, 17% of students were English learners, 88% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and 23% had a disability. Fifty-three percent of students were Hispanic or Latino; 40% were Black, non-Hispanic; 3 percent were Asian, non-Hispanic; and 2 percent were White, non-Hispanic.

Intervention Group

New York City Community Schools strive to establish school-community collaborations so that academics, health and wellness, and family empowerment are incorporated in the climate and culture of the schools. There are four core features of community schools: (1) collaborative leadership and practices, which includes data-informed planning, public-private partnerships, and needs assessments; (2) family and community engagement, which includes family nights, family leadership training, and specialized programs such as adult education classes and home visits; (3) expanded learning time and opportunities, which includes hands-on learning experiences, summer programming, and cofacilitation of programming with community based organizations before, during, and after school; and (4) integrated student supports, which includes mental health, reproductive health, vision screenings, mentoring, and vulnerable youth services such as homelessness and immigration services.

Comparison Group

Comparison schools did not implement the New York City Community Schools model. Students in these comparison schools received public school instruction as usual.

Support for implementation

The New York City Community Schools model was initially funded with $52 million. The Office of Community Schools assigned each school a program manager to coach school staff and help them develop school-community collaborations. Each program manager was responsible for up to 15 schools. The Office of School Health assigned a school mental health manager to support implementation efforts across multiple schools for wellness programs and integrated student supports. The program is also supported with partnerships from various community-based organizations.

 

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