Stand and Deliver: Effects of Boston’s Charter High Schools on College Preparation, Entry, and Choice

New Findings, School Reform, January 2016

We use admis­sions lot­ter­ies to esti­mate effects of atten­dance at Boston’s char­ter high schools on col­lege prepa­ra­tion and enroll­ment. Charter schools increase pass rates on Massachusetts’ high-stakes exit exam,with large effects on the like­li­hood of qual­i­fy­ing for a state spon­sored schol­ar­ship. Charter atten­dance also boosts SAT scores sharply and increases the like­li­hood of tak­ing an Advanced Placement (AP) exam, the num­ber of AP exams taken, and AP scores. Charters induce a sub­stan­tial shift from 2- to 4-year insti­tu­tions, though the effect on over­all col­lege enroll­ment is mod­est. Charter effects on college-related out­comes are strongly cor­re­lated with char­ter effects on ear­lier tests.