Chalkbeat, November 1, 2019, by Stephanie Wang
When Indianapolis Public Schools “restarted” chronically struggling schools, students who stayed under the new management sometimes made smaller gains on tests compared to their classmates who left, a new study finds.
Over time, however, students at the restarted schools closed some of the gaps.
The study by Public Impact, an education consulting group based in North Carolina, honed in on four elementary schools where IPS contracts with outside or charter operators as a turnaround strategy. It compared students who stayed through the overhauls to those who transferred to other schools.
Results were so mixed and the data set so limited that the study couldn’t draw clear conclusions about whether the IPS innovation schools they looked at “deliver on their promise.”
“We think it’s the right question to be asking, but we didn’t draw any strong conclusions based on the analysis because the data was so small,” said Daniela Doyle, vice president for policy and management research at Public Impact and the study’s co-author.
But researchers took early enrollment and test score growth, a measure of how much students learn in a year compared to their peers, as signs that interventions could be working and lead to more significant progress over time.