Do small high schools make a difference?
Why are we asking?
By the early 2000s, a national movement emerged to replace large, failing urban high schools with small schools. These smaller schools would allow for stronger, more personal relationships between students and adults, increase student engagement, and better position teachers to identify and respond to students’ academic and social needs. MDRC’s groundbreaking study of New York City’s system-wide small schools initiative provides rigorous evidence that these schools are markedly improve graduation prospects, particularly for disadvantaged students.