A new working paper out from Brown University studies the impact of state takeovers on 35 school districts. The authors, Drs. Beth E. Schueler and Joshua Bielberg, conclude that mostly state takeovers don’t help and sometimes they hurt efforts to raise student proficiency rates.
Except for a few cities like Camden, New Jersey.
According to the study titled “Evaluating Education Governance: Does State Takeover of School Districts Affect Student Achievement?,” students in Camden saw gains in reading and math. These results directly contradict a study put out last month from New Jersey Policy Perspective. One author of the NJPP paper is Julia Sass Rubin, a long-time school reform foe who was forced to acknowledge in the report that student proficiency rates in Camden have, in fact, risen since the 2013 state intervention.
In summarizing the new report this morning, Chalkbeat wrires,
Some places — including Camden, New Jersey and Lawrence, Massachusetts — did see improvements in the wake of takeover. (In general, takeovers were most likely to succeed in places that had very low test scores to begin with.) But just as many districts — like East St. Louis, Illinois and Chester Upland, Pennsylvania — saw their academic records get worse, relative to other schools in the states.