Does the SEED School model, which combines a “No Excuses” charter school approach with a five-day-a-week boarding program, lead to improved academic performance?
The SEED Foundation provided us with the results of SEED Schools 2007 and 2008 middle school admissions lotteries, which we matched to administrative records assembled by D.C. Public Schools. We tracked these student test scores through seventh and eighth grade, and compared the performance of students who were accepted to SEED to those who were not admitted to the school.
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Attending SEED leads to large increases in both math and reading achievement, enough to eliminate the black-white achievement gap in both subjects within four years. The reading results are particularly noteworthy, as even the best charter schools typically struggle to raise reading scores to this degree. We hypothesize that the residential supports may play a role in driving this particular outcome in reading. Interestingly, the data also suggest that the test score increases are largest for female students.