MDRC in the News

The U.S. Education Reform Movement Has Stalled



Everyone wants to think her job is challenging, but Carmen Fariña’s is close to impossible: She is the chancellor of New York City’s Department of Education. There are 1.1 million students in the five boroughs, which is more than the population of all but nine American cities. There are 1,800 schools in New York; Chicago has 500. Brooklyn Technical High School has more students (5,500) than Princeton does undergraduates (5,200)…..

…..[I]n what appeared to be a tacit acknowledgement that some schools were beyond saving, the Department of Education decided to shut down three (two of them were in the Renewal program). Fariña may be reluctant to use this strategy, but an MDRC study has found that small schools—the kind Klein opened after shutting down big ones—do a better job of getting poor kids of color into college than their larger counterparts. Many have pointed to that study, released in 2014, as a vindication of Bloomberg and Klein…..

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