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The Effects of Charter High Schools on Educational Attainment

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.Florida State UniversityMathematica Policy Research, Inc.Vanderbilt University

We analyze the relationship between charter high school attendance and educational attainment in Florida and in Chicago. Controlling for observed student characteristics and test scores, we estimate that among students who attended a charter middle school, those who went on to attend a charter high school were 7–15 percentage points more likely to earn a standard diploma than students who transitioned to a traditional public high school. Similarly, those attending a charter high school were 8–10 percentage points more likely to attend college. We find even larger effects when we treat high school choice as endogenous.