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No More Excuses Roland G. Fryer, Jr. Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics Harvard University EdLabs NBER. Why EdLabs Was Founded. “ If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to

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No More Excuses

Roland G. Fryer, Jr.

Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics

Harvard University

EdLabs

NBER


Why EdLabs Was Founded

“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to

impose on America the mediocre education performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

A Nation at Risk (1983)


Why EdLabs Was Founded

United States vs. OECD Countries

OECD Average

Source: OECD, Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), 2009

Source: Education at a Glance 2010: OECD Indicators

3


Overview

The Achievement Gap

Among cities that participate in NAEP, the magnitude of racial differences in educational achievement is startling.


Why EdLabs Was Founded

What if we could have closed the international achievement gap

By 1998?

The international achievement gap cost

$1.3 -$2.3 trillion in lost GDP in 2008

Based upon Calculations from McKinsey (2009)

5


Why EdLabs Was Founded

What if we could have eliminated the racial achievement gap by 1998?

is

The racial achievement gap cost

$310 -$525 billion in lost GDP in 2008

---------------------------------------------------------

And $1.5 – $2.5 trillion

cumulatively from 1998-2008

and

Based upon Calculations from McKinsey (2009)

6


Why EdLabs Was Founded

Accounting for educational achievement drastically reduces racial and socioeconomic inequality across a wide range of important life outcomes.

7





Results From High-Performing Charters

Harlem

Children’s

Zone


Charter Results

A. Broad Surveys

B. High Performers


Edlabs’ Research: Finding the Vaccine

The key goal is to translate charter schools’ successful policies into common principles and then transplant them into traditional public schools. To this end, EdLabs initiated a multi-year study of NYC charters to determine which policies and practices are the most correlated with student achievement.

Correlation of “Traditional” Inputs and Math Effectiveness


Edlabs’ Research: Finding the Vaccine

Correlation of Within-School Inputs and Math Effectiveness


Edlabs’ Research Findings: Finding the Vaccine

The key goal is to translate charter schools’ successful policies into common principles and then transplant them into traditional public schools. To this end, EdLabs initiated a multi-year study of NYC charters that determined that the following five policies and practices have the greatest correlation with student achievement:


ImplementationIncreased Time in School

The school day was extended in Apollo schools during the 2010-11 school year: 7:45am – 4:15pm Monday through Thursday, and 7:45am – 3:15pm on Fridays. This was an average of an hour longer per school day.

The school year was extended by five school days. Apollo students reported for school on August 16, 2010, while the rest of the district began on August 23, 2010.

Bottom line: The difference between instructional time in 2009-10 and 2010-11 amounts to approximately 30 school days – that’s 6 additional weeks of school for students.


Implementation

Human Capital

In addition to finding nine new principals, teacher turnover spiked to 53% in Apollo schools over the summer of 2010. Value-added data shows that teachers who returned as Apollo teachers had a much stronger history of increasing student achievement in every subject, relative to those who left.


ImplementationHigh Dosage Differentiation: Tutoring and Double-Dosing

  • All sixth and ninth grade students received daily 2:1 tutoring in math

  • Seventh, eighth, tenth, and eleventh graders received an extra reading or math course if they had tested behind grade level in the previous year

  • All told, middle school students received approximately 215 hours of tutoring/double-dosing, and high school students received 189.


ImplementationData-Driven Instruction

  • In addition to required HISD assessments, Apollo schools administered two additional comprehensive benchmark assessments in four core subjects: math, reading, science, and social studies.

  • After each assessment, teachers received student-level data and used this to have one-on-one goal-setting conversations with students.


Implementation

Culture and Expectations

At the end of the 2009-10 school year, The New Teacher Project interviewed all teachers in what would become Apollo schools. Those who returned for the 2010-11 year showed a demonstrably stronger commitment to the Apollo 20 philosophy.


Implementation

Culture and Expectations

  • Reports from student focus groups provide a lens into the culture shift.

  • Pre-Treatment: There were lots of fights and “wilding out” all the time. Teachers didn’t give homework. People just showed up and basically went through the motions. Observers noted rowdy hallways, messing around, not taking school very seriously.

  • Treatment Fall: The extended school day was a big shift. Constant complaints of exhaustion. Everyone’s tired. The students are tired. The teachers are tired.

  • Treatment Spring: “The food in the cafeteria sucks.”“I had a hamburger that wasn’t any good.”

    • Student: “The apples taste like soap.”

    • Project Manager: “Next time I visit I’ll figure out why the apples tasted like soap.”

  • From a teacher in Fall 2011: “The sixth graders from last year who are seventh graders now have started to shift the whole school culture. The climate is really changing – it’s calmer everywhere, and there are no more fights.”


Apollo 20 In Context

Pooling all grades together, the results are strikingly similar to those achieved by the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Middle Skill and KIPP – two of the country’s most recognized charter operators.


Cost-Benefit Analysis

Using an estimate of the correlation between test scores and future earnings, we can calculate a rough rate of return for the first year of the Apollo experiment and compare it to other popular education interventions.


Long-Term HCZ Effects

Preliminary Survey Findings

  • Lottery winners are 5.5 times less likely to get pregnant

  • We identified 7 lottery losers who are currently incarcerated, compared to 1 lottery winner (more complete stats are forthcoming)


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