In the News: Americans Oppose School Closures, But Research Suggests They’re Not A Bad Idea

Two new polls released over the past two weeks, one from Education Next and one from PDK, shed light on public opinion about education policy,

On NPR, Anya Kamenetz notes that

ednext-aug-2016-blog-ototn-school-closuresThis year, by far the most lopsided finding in the [PDK] survey was about a controversial reform policy: school closures. By 84 percent to 14 percent, Americans said that even when a public school has been failing for several years, the best response is to keep the school open and try to improve it rather than shut it down.

Yet despite that sentiment, some early research suggests that school closures may work as advertised, in that they steer students toward higher-performing schools.

She writes

What actually happens to students when schools close? There still aren’t many rigorous research studies focusing on the topic. Two of the biggest were published last year and focused on New York City and Chicago. The outcomes suggested that closings functioned as intended.

The study that looked at the impact of school closings in New York City appears in the Fall 2016 issue of Education Next.

– Education Next

Last Updated


Notify Me When Education Next

Posts a Big Story

Business + Editorial Office

Program on Education Policy and Governance
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone (617) 496-5488
Fax (617) 496-4428

For subscription service to the printed journal
Phone (617) 496-5488

Copyright © 2024 President & Fellows of Harvard College