New MIT/Duke Paper Confirms MDRC’s Positive Findings About NYC Small High Schools

In October, researchers from MIT and Duke released a paper that replicated and confirmed findings from several MDRC reports on small high schools in New York City published between January 2010 and August 2013. MDRC’s reports have shown that these nonselective small schools, which serve mostly disadvantaged students of color, produce sustained positive effects, raising graduation rates by 9.5 percentage points. The MIT/Duke paper also adds one encouraging new finding: that the positive effects of new small schools documented by MDRC over the past three years are sustained when students enter college or community college. 

In 2014, MDRC will release the next report from its study. It will focus on understanding what characteristics make some small schools perform better than others and will include findings on postsecondary enrollment.