Does whole-school reform boost student performance? The case of New York City

Robert Bifulco, William Duncombe, John Yinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Thousands of schools around the country have implemented whole-school reform programs to boost student performance. This paper uses quasi-experimental methods to estimate the impact of whole-school reform on students' reading performance in New York City, where various reform programs were adopted in dozens of troubled elementary schools in the mid-1990s. This paper complements studies based on random assignment by examining a broad-based reform effort and explicitly accounting for implementation quality. Two popular reform programs - the School Development Program and Success for All - were not found to significantly increase reading scores but might have been if they had been fully implemented. The More Effective Schools program was found to boost reading scores, but this effect seems to disappear when the program "trainers" leave the school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-72
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


Dive into the research topics of 'Does whole-school reform boost student performance? The case of New York City'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this