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Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Working Paper Series
The Role of Selective High Schools in Equalizing Educational Outcomes: Heterogeneous Effects by Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status
Lisa Barrow
Lauren Sartain
Marisa de la Torre
Abstract

We investigate whether elite Chicago public high schools can help close the achievement gap between high-achieving students from more and less affluent neighborhoods. Seats are allocated based on prior achievement with 70 percent reserved for high-achieving applicants from four neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) categories. Using regression discontinuity design, we find no effect on test scores or college attendance for students from high- or low-SES neighborhoods and positive effects on student reports of their experiences. For students from low-SES neighborhoods, we estimate significant negative effects on rank in high school, grades and the probability of attending a selective college.


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Lisa Barrow & Lauren Sartain & Marisa de la Torre, The Role of Selective High Schools in Equalizing Educational Outcomes: Heterogeneous Effects by Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Working Paper Series WP-2016-17, 06 Nov 2016.
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Keywords: Educational equalization; high school; low-income; regression analysis; universities and colleges admission
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