Charter school tax credit: Investing in human capital
This working paper considers how two existing policy tools--investment tax credits and charter schools--could be combined to raise operating funds for charter schools that successfully close the poverty-related academic achievement gap. Some charter schools have succeeded in dramatically improving low-income student performance (those run by KIPP, Achievement First, and the Harlem Children's Zone, for example). However, these successful schools differ significantly in type and approach. As a result, it is difficult to identify a single, or combination of variables in any one charter that, if ...
Connecting public schools to community development
In neighborhoods across the country, public schools and community groups are beginning to work together in new and innovative ways. Connie Chung explores the wide variety of roles that public schools can play in community development efforts.
Nonlinear effects of school quality on house prices
We reexamine the relationship between quality of public schools and house prices and find it to be nonlinear. Unlike most studies in the literature, we find that the price premium parents must pay to buy a house in an area associated with a better school increases as school quality increases. This is true even after controlling for neighborhood characteristics, such as the racial composition of neighborhoods, which is also capitalized into house prices. In contrast to previous studies that use the boundary discontinuity approach, we find that the price premium from school quality remains ...
Vouchers, public school response, and the role of incentives: evidence from Florida
In this paper, I analyze the behavior of public schools facing vouchers. The literature on the effects of voucher programs on public schools typically focuses on student and mean school scores. This paper tries to go inside the black box to investigate some of the ways in which schools facing the threat of vouchers in Florida behaved. Under a 1999 program, Florida schools earning an "F" grade for the first time were exposed to the threat of vouchers, but did not face vouchers unless and until they got a second "F" within the next three years. Exploiting the institutional details of this ...
Do charter schools crowd out private school enrollment? Evidence from Michigan
Charter schools have been one of the most important dimensions of recent school reform measures in the United States. Currently, there are more than 4,500 charter schools spread across forty U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Though there have been numerous studies on the effects of charter schools, these have mostly been confined to analyzing the effects on student achievement, student demographic composition, parental satisfaction, and the competitive effects on regular public schools. This study departs from the existing literature by investigating the effect of charter schools on ...
Impact of voucher design on public school performance: evidence from Florida and Milwaukee voucher programs
This paper examines the impact of vouchers in general and voucher design in particular on public school performance. It argues that all voucher programs are not created equal. There are often fundamental differences in voucher designs that affect public school incentives differently and induce different responses from them. It analyzes two voucher programs in the United States. The 1990 Milwaukee experiment can be looked upon as a "voucher shock" program that suddenly made low-income students eligible for vouchers. The 1999 Florida program can be looked upon as a "threat of voucher" program, ...
Impact of the Great Recession on public schools in the region
Remarks at the Quarterly Regional Economic Press Briefing, New York City.
The national and regional economy
Remarks at Pace University, New York City.
Incentives and responses under No Child Left Behind: credible threats and the role of competition
The No Child Left Behind law mandated the institution of adequate yearly progress (AYP) objectives, on which schools are assigned a pass or fail. Fail status is associated with negative publicity and often sanctions. In this paper, I study the incentives and responses of schools that failed AYP once. Using data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and regression discontinuity designs, I find evidence in these schools of improvements in high-stakes reading and spillover effects to low-stakes language arts. The patterns are consistent with a focus on marginal students around the ...