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Study Says Ohio Kids Benefit By Switching Schools

Arise Academy in Dayton is now closed, and former leaders of the school have been convicted of federal crimes.
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A new study has found that closing schools in Ohio can be a good thing. A report from the non-profit Thomas B. Fordham Institute, finds students generally do better in math and reading when they move to new schools.

Investigators from Ohio State and the University of Oklahoma followed some 23,000 students in Ohio’s 8 large urban districts. The kids moved to new schools after their traditional public schools or underperforming charter schools closed. The researchers wanted to know if the upheaval of moving to a new school with new peers and routines could hurt a student’s performance.

They found that pupils from traditional public schools improved in reading by the equivalent of 49 extra days of learning and in math by an extra 34 days. Kids from charter schools gained about the same in math but saw little gains in Reading. 

Fordham’s research director Aaron Churchill says one downside was that schools that absorbed kids from a closed school sometimes saw their average scores go down slightly.

“I think that the big takeaway is that closures of low-performing schools can benefit kids. The second takeaway is that it has to also be done thoughtfully and judiciously,” he said.

The Fordham Institute advocates for school choice and is a sponsor of 11 charter schools around the state.