NBER

Isaac McFarlin Jr.

College of Education
University of Florida
2-230D Norman Hall
P.O. Box 117049
Gainesville, FL 32611
Tel: (352) 273-4330

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
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NBER Program Affiliations: ED
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of Florida

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2020Can Re-Enrollment Campaigns Help Dropouts Return to College? Evidence from Florida Community Colleges
with Justin C. Ortagus, Melvin J. Tanner: w26649
Most students who begin at a community college leave without earning a degree. Given the growing emphasis on student success, many colleges have implemented re-enrollment campaigns designed to foster re-engagement and degree completion among former students. However, there is a lack of causal evidence on their effectiveness. We implement a text message-based re-enrollment campaign in partnership with several Florida community colleges. Former students who were previously successful academically are randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups that either receives information to simplify the re-enrollment process or receives both information and a one-course tuition waiver. When comparing outcomes of former students who received information on re-enrollment to members in the control gro...
December 2018Education for All? A Nationwide Audit Study of School Choice
with Peter Bergman: w25396
School choice may allow schools to impede access to students perceived as costlier to educate. To test this, we sent emails from fictitious parents to 6,452 charter schools and traditional public schools subject to school choice in 29 states and Washington, D.C. The fictitious parent asked whether any student is eligible to apply to the school and how to apply. Each email signaled a randomly assigned attribute of the child. We find that schools are less likely to respond to inquiries from students with poor behavior, low achievement, or a significant special need. Lower response rates to students with this special need are driven by charter schools. Otherwise, these results hold for traditional public schools, high value-added schools, including high-value added, urban charter schools.
September 2015Investing in Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement
with Paco Martorell, Kevin M. Stange: w21515
Public investments in repairs, modernization, and construction of schools cost billions. However, little is known about the nature of school facility investments, whether it actually changes the physical condition of public schools, and the subsequent causal impacts on student achievement. We study the achievement effects of nearly 1,400 capital campaigns initiated and financed by local school districts, comparing districts where school capital bonds were either narrowly approved or defeated by district voters. Overall, we find little evidence that school capital campaigns improve student achievement. Our event-study analyses focusing on students that attend targeted schools and therefore exposed to major campus renovations also generate very precise zero estimates of achievement effects. ...

Published: Paco Martorell & Kevin Stange & Isaac McFarlin, 2016. "Investing in schools: Capital spending, facility conditions, and student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, . citation courtesy of

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