Understanding the impact of integration policies in New York City Public Schools

Date Completed

Partnering with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), Angrist and his team will study the effects of admissions policies on measures of diversity, students’ access to quality schools, and disadvantaged students’ academic achievement. They will explore the short-term effects of current integration efforts and evaluate potential alternatives. Studies on the effects of school segregation suggest integration may have both academic and psychological benefits to students, but evidence of the causal effects of integration, particularly in more recent years, remains elusive. Using a differences-indifferences strategy based on the sudden adoption of school-level diversity targets, the team aims to provide evidence that addresses core questions in the debate over integration and diversity: Do diversity policies like those adopted in NYC reduce racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic segregation and improve student opportunity, both within each local district and across the city’s schools? Do disadvantaged students enroll in higher-quality schools as a result? Do the district’s plans increase academic performance of disadvantaged students and reduce the achievement gap? Would other policies lead to better outcomes both in terms of diversity and academic performance? What are the effects on school measures of effectiveness?

Joshua Angrist, Clemence Idoux
Lab Name
School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative