Don Harder

School closures are an increasingly common reform strategy for school districts facing declining enrollments, constricting budgets, and low academic performance. However, little empirical attention has addressed the effects of closures on student achievement. This study examines the impact of 27 school closures in Houston Independent School District between 2003 and 2010. Findings indicate HISD’s closures disproportionately displaced poor and black students. While students generally transferred to slightly more advantaged and academically higher-performing schools, few transferred to HISD’s highest-performing schools. 

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