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Document Number: 6978

Magnet Schools and Student Achievement - This report estimates the impact of attending a magnet school on student achievement for a midsized southern district, using admissions lotteries to sort students into “treatment” and “control” groups. The report finds a positive effect on mathematics achievement until controls for student demographics and prior achievement are added. The authors argue that this suggests that despite random assignment in the lotteries, treatment and control groups differ with respect to student characteristics that have an independent impact on achievement. The most likely explanation is differential patterns of attrition among lottery winners and losers. (Dale Ballou, Ellen Goldring and Keke Liu, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, March 2006) ...

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