Students who attended a school that required an entrance exam were more likely to take rigorous high school courses and graduate with an advanced diploma, but they were no likelier to enroll in or ultimately graduate from college than comparable students who didn’t attend such a school, according to a study of New York City schools.
Researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research, in Cambridge, Mass., tracked the achievement of students from 2002 through 2009 who barely made it—or didn’t make it—into Brooklyn Technical High School, Bronx High School of Science, and Stuyvesant High School, each of which uses academic entrance exams.
The study found that, by the end of high school, students who attended exam schools did not have significantly better SAT scores in reading or writing than students who just missed the schools’ cutoffs. Only students at Bronx Science performed about 11 points higher in math than students who missed the cutoff.
A version of this article appeared in the August 31, 2011 edition of Education Week as High Schools