Schools of Encanto: Puerto Rico's Schools Closure Policy Study Case
Rivera Rivera, Edward R.
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Current research on school closures in the United States uses observational methods aiming to measure students’ academic performance; however, studies are limited to big cities and either elementary or high school students. Large-scale school closures in Puerto Rico during year 2018-19 allowed for a direct comparison of academic performance in Spanish, Mathematics, English, and Science on schools that received displaced students, in both big and small cities and across all educational levels. Using t-tests to compare difference in means of standardized testing scores on schools receiving displaced students and schools not receiving displaced students, this study’s findings revealed that, on average, schools receiving displaced students performed worse than their counterparts on all educational levels and, except for Mathematics, across all disciplines. Since local authorities cited only budget restructuration as justification for school closures unlike other cases studied, findings further advance the literature on school closure policies to attempt to diminish negative, academic effects on displaced students.