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A Think Twice Review of:

School Choice and School Performance in the New York City Public Schools: Will the Past be Prologue?

Think Twice - Nov 19, 2013

Publisher/Think Tank - Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings

Author(s) - Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst and Sarah Whitfield

Whitehurst and Whitfield attempt to use aggregate findings to make the case that expansion of school choice and school competition in NYC schools is a major factor in increased graduation rates and enhanced performance on state tests of academic achievement. The authors’ recommendations also include calls for more general improvements in instruction, teacher quality, and accountability systems.

Reviewer(s) - Patricia Burch, University of Southern California

A review finds that the report is lacking in many ways, including a very slender review of relevant research in the area of school choice and competition. It was also found that the report selectively presents the data, which has the effect of creating an overly positive picture of the reports referenced. The majority of the report’s recommendations are not linked to the analyses presented in the paper. The usefulness of the report is limited by the lack of support provided for the recommendations. In general, the report offers little in the way of useful guidance for policymakers.