School closures happen because of declining school-age populations, growth of alternate schooling options, and poor school performance. But what do these closures mean for the students affected? Matt Barnum of Chalkbeat reviewed 17 studies from the last 10 years to find the answer and summed up his findings in five lessons:
- Effects on students’ academic performance vary, with students in some areas improving and students in other areas declining, sometimes only temporarily.
- The quality of the schools students move to is important.
- Students in schools receiving students from closed schools may experience modest declines in performance.
- There’s little research on how closures affect students who otherwise would have attended a now-closed school.
- School closures affect communities in ways that are difficult to measure, sometimes sparking activism, causing grief, or breaking friendships.
Source: Barnum, M. (2019, February 5). Five things we’ve learned from a decade of research on school closures. Chalkbeat.