WWC review of this study

Can interdistrict choice boost student achievement? The case of Connecticut’s interdistrict magnet school program.

Bifulco, R., Cobb, C. D., & Bell, C. (2009). Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 31(4), 323–345. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ866926

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    516
     Students
    , grade
    8
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: February 2018

General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Connecticut Mastery Test - 8th grade math

(Not applicable) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
514 students

N/A

N/A

No

--
Literacy achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Connecticut Mastery Test - 8th grade reading

(Not applicable) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
516 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
10

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Suburban, Urban
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    Connecticut

Setting

The study takes place in and around Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury, CT.

Study sample

The analyses presented in the study examine students in both urban and suburban settings.

Intervention Group

The intervention was magnet schools. The middle-school results imply effects based on 3 years of exposure to a magnet school (impacts from beginning of sixth to end of eighth grade). The high school results imply effects based on 2 years of exposure to a magnet school (impacts in tenth grade).

Comparison Group

For the RCT, the comparison condition included students who applied to the magnet schools but were not admitted. These students attended other public schools and had test data available. For the QEDs, the comparison condition included students in a middle or high school in a district that sends at least 10 students each year to one of the interdistrict magnets in the intervention group. The comparison sample was limited to students for whom the state had a posttest scores in the relevant outcome year and for whom they were able to match two pretest scores.

Support for implementation

The authors do not describe any support for implementation.

 

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