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Fun with quantitative research - Stuyvesant High School [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Fun with quantitative research [Aug. 18th, 2011|10:51 am]
Stuyvesant High School


I'm sure many of you have seen this already - according to the results of a study currently in the form of an NBER working paper, not available in open access, attending an NYC "exam high school" (like Stuy) "increases the rigor of high school courses taken and the probability that a student graduates with an advanced high school degree...but has little impact on Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, college enrollment, or college graduation."

New York Times article
Actual underlying study

In simple terms, according to the study, given two students who are similar before applying to the exam schools, one of whom then does enroll in Stuy or Bronx Science or Brooklyn Tech, and one who does not, the probability of each of them attending and graduating college is statistically similar and their SAT scores will likely be similar as well.

Without actually seeing the paper, I can't say anything about how rigorous the actual research and analysis is, and whether the conclusions follow from the data. At the same time, I can already imagine people completely misinterpreting this thing one way or the other. The study does not try ask what is the point of the selective admission schools or for that matter answer what the different kinds of benefits are. It's not meant to be read alone, but it does add one particular viewpoint that is probably as valid as any other viewpoint.