Amy Ellen Schwartz

Amy Ellen Schwartz
Professor of Public Policy, Education, and Economics

Amy Ellen Schwartz is Professor of Public Policy, Education, and Economics and Director of the NYU Institute for Education and Social Policy. She teaches courses in public finance and policy at both the Wagner School and The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Her research is primarily in applied econometrics, focusing on issues in urban policy, education policy and public finance. Her current research in K-12 education examines the relationship between student performance and housing and neighborhood change; the role of schools and neighborhoods in shaping childhood obesity; immigration and mobility in urban schools, and the efficacy of school reforms. Research on urban economic development has included work on Business Improvement Districts, housing investment, school choice, and investment in infrastructure, among other issues in public finance. Professor Schwartz has published numerous articles in academic journals including: the American Economic Review,The Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Urban Economics. Her research has been supported by grants from the Spencer Foundation, NIH, IES, NSF, WT Grant Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation among others. Professor Schwartz received her Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.

Semester Course
Fall 2011 PADM-GP.2443.001 Financing Urban Government

Identical to G31.2302.

This course explores the role of urban governments in the economy, their relationship to their suburban and rural neighbors and to the state and federal governments. Both the sources and uses of funds will be considered, including the relative merits of different tax instruments, and the implications of alternative spending decisions for equity and efficiency and the political economy of public decisions.

Most of this course is concerned with the analysis of policy issues in the financing of publicly provided services in large urban areas in the U.S. The analysis, and the readings, will be based on the approaches found in the literature of public economics--with its focus on equity and efficiency in resource allocation--and of urban economics--with its focus on the location of people and economic activity within and among urban areas. The course will begin with a review of the setting within which urban fiscal problems must be resolved: the special character of public finance in metropolitan communities, the nature of demand for public services in urban areas, and the roles of the complex networks and layers of governments. The second segment will deal in detail with the various ways in which governments in metropolitan areas raise funds to meet these demands and the implications for equity and efficiency.


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Spring 2011 PHD-GP.5908. Doctoral Seminar in Public Policy Analysis
Spring 2011 PADM-GP.2443.001 Financing Urban Government

Identical to G31.2302.

This course explores the role of urban governments in the economy, their relationship to their suburban and rural neighbors and to the state and federal governments. Both the sources and uses of funds will be considered, including the relative merits of different tax instruments, and the implications of alternative spending decisions for equity and efficiency and the political economy of public decisions.

Most of this course is concerned with the analysis of policy issues in the financing of publicly provided services in large urban areas in the U.S. The analysis, and the readings, will be based on the approaches found in the literature of public economics--with its focus on equity and efficiency in resource allocation--and of urban economics--with its focus on the location of people and economic activity within and among urban areas. The course will begin with a review of the setting within which urban fiscal problems must be resolved: the special character of public finance in metropolitan communities, the nature of demand for public services in urban areas, and the roles of the complex networks and layers of governments. The second segment will deal in detail with the various ways in which governments in metropolitan areas raise funds to meet these demands and the implications for equity and efficiency.


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Date Publication/Paper
2014

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Keren Horn 2014. Do Housing Choice Voucher Holders Live Near Good Schools Journal of Housing Economics 23(1), 2014: 28-40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhe.2013.11.005
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Abstract

The Housing Choice Voucher program was created, in part, to help low income households reach a broader range of neighborhoods and schools. Rather than concentrating low income households in designated developments, vouchers allow families to choose their housing units and neighborhoods. In this project we explore whether low income households use the flexibility provided by vouchers to reach neighborhoods with high performing schools. Unlike previous experimental work, which has focused on a small sample of voucher holders constrained to live in low-poverty neighborhoods, we look at the voucher population as a whole and explore the broad range of neighborhoods in which they live. Relying on internal data from HUD on the location of assisted households, we link each voucher holder in the country to the closest elementary school within their school district. We compare the characteristics of the schools that voucher holders are likely to attend to the characteristics of those accessible to other households receiving place based housing subsidies, other similar unsubsidized households and fair market rent units within the same state and metropolitan area. These comparisons provide us with a portrait of the schools that children might have attended absent HUD assistance. In comparison to other poor households in the same metropolitan areas, we find that the schools near voucher holders have lower performing students than the schools near other poor households without a housing subsidy. We probe this surprising finding by exploring whether differences between the demographic characteristics of voucher holders and other poor households explain the differences in the characteristics of nearby schools, and whether school characteristics vary with length of time in the voucher program. We also examine variation across metropolitan areas in the relative quality of schools near to voucher holders and whether this variation is explained by economic, socio-demographic or policy differences across cities.

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Patrick Sharkey, and Johanna Lacoe 2014. High Stakes in the Classroom, High Stakes on the Street: The Effects of Community Violence on Students’ Standardized Test Performance Sociological Science, forthcoming
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Abstract

This paper examines the effect of exposure to violent crime on students’ standardized test performance among a sample of students in New York City public schools. To identify the effect of exposure to community violence on children’s test scores, we compare students exposed to an incident of violent crime on their own blockface in the week prior to the exam to students exposed in the week after the exam. The results show that such exposure to violent crime reduces performance on English Language Arts assessments, and no effect on Math scores. The effect of exposure to violent crime is most pronounced among African Americans, and reduces the passing rates of black students by approximately 3 percentage points.

2013

Corcoran, S. P., Schwartz, A. E., & Weinstein 2013. Training Your Own: The Impact of New York City’s Aspiring Principals Program on Achievement Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 34(2): 232-253.
Abstract

The New York City Leadership Academy represents a unique experiment by a large urban school district to train and develop its own school leaders. Its 14-month Aspiring Principals Program (APP) selects and prepares aspiring principals to lead low-performing schools. This study provides the first systematic evaluation of achievement in APP-staffed schools after 3 or more years. We examine differences between APP principals and those advancing through other routes, the extent to which APP graduates serve and remain in schools, and their relative performance in mathematics and English language arts. On balance, we find that APP principals performed about as well as other new principals. If anything, they narrowed the gap with comparison schools in English language arts but lagged behind in mathematics.

Leos-Urbel, J., Schwartz, A. E., Weinstein, M., & Corcoran, S. 2013. Not Just for Poor Kids: The Impact of Universal Free School Breakfast on Meal Participation and Student Outcomes Economics of Education Review, 36: 88-107
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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of the implementation of a universal free school breakfast policy on meals program participation, attendance, and academic achievement. In 2003, New York City made school breakfast free for all students regardless of income, while increasing the price of lunch for those ineligible for meal subsidies. Using a difference-indifference estimation strategy, we derive plausibly causal estimates of the policy’s impact by exploiting within and between group variation in school meal pricing before and after the policy change. Our estimates suggest that the policy resulted in small increases in breakfast participation both for students who experienced a decrease in the price of breakfast and for free-lunch eligible students who experienced no price change. The latter suggests that universal provision may alter behavior through mechanisms other than price, highlighting the potential merits of universal provision over targeted services. We find limited evidence of policy impacts on academic outcomes.

Schwartz, A. E., Stiefel, L., & Wiswall, M. 2013. Do Small Schools Improve Performance in Large, Urban Districts? Casual Evidence from New York City Journal of Urban Economics, 77: 27-40
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Abstract

We evaluate the effectivness of small high school reform in the country's largest school district, New York City. Using a rich administrative datasest for multiple cohorts of students and distance between student residence and school to instrument for endogenous school selection, we find substantial heterogeneity in school effects: newly created small schools have positive effects of graduation and some other educational outcomes while older small schools do not. Importantly, we show that ignoring this source of treatment effect heterogeneity by assuming a common small school effect yields a misleading zero effect of small school attendance.

2012

Doucet, F., Schwartz, A. E., & Debraggio, E. 2012. Beyond Black: Diversity among Black Immigrant Students in New York City Public Schools Randy Capps and Michael Fix, editors, Young Children of Black Immigrants in America: Changing Flows, Changing Faces. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute: 299-331
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Abstract

The child population in the United States is rapidly changing and diversifying — in large part because of immigration. Today, nearly one in four US children under the age of 18 is the child of an immigrant. While research has focused on the largest of these groups (Latinos and Asians), far less academic attention has been paid to the changing Black child population, with the children of Black immigrants representing an increasing share of the US Black child population.

To better understand a unique segment of the child population, chapters in this interdisciplinary volume examine the health, well-being, school readiness, and academic achievement of children in Black immigrant families (most with parents from Africa and the Caribbean).

The volume explores the migration and settlement experiences of Black immigrants to the United States, focusing on contextual factors such as family circumstances, parenting behaviors, social supports, and school climate that influence outcomes during early childhood and the elementary and middle-school years.  Many of its findings hold important policy implications for education, health care, child care, early childhood development, immigrant integration, and refugee assistance.

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2012. Racial Segregation in Multiethnic Schools: Adding Immigrants to the Analysis In William Tate, Ed., Research on Schools, Neighborhoods and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility. Rowman and Littlefield Publishing. 2012, pp. 67-82.
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Abstract

Racial segregation in America's schools remains persistently and disturbingly high, despite decades of institutional and policy changes. This paper considers one recent change common to many urban school districts - immigration - and examines whether and how the presence of a large number of immigrant students affects racial segregation. Exploiting a student-level data set including all elementary and middle school students in New York City's public schools, sixteen percent of whom are immigrants, we conduct a series of descriptive and exploratory analysis of possible avenues of influence. While it is unclear ex ante, both theoretically and compositionally, whether the presence of immigrants should increase or decrease inter-racial interaction, our results point to a decrease. Racial stratification of foreign-born students is generally higher than that of their native-born counterparts, and this is not solely attributable to income or language-skill differences. And while this heightened segregation decreases with time in the school system, the foreign-born/native-born differential is never eliminated. Importantly, we do find that there are very large differences within the immigrant population. Thus, the effect of immigrants on patterns of racial interaction in any district will depend crucially not only on the race of the immigrants, but also on their particular country of origin.

2011

Ellen, Ingrid, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Brian McCabe, and Colin Chellman 2011. Does City-Subsidized, Owner-Occupied Housing Improve School Quality? Evidence from New York Journal of the American Planning Association, 77(2), 2011: 127-141.
Abstract

Bean, Vicky, Ingrid Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel and Meryle Weinstein 2011. Does Losing Your Home Mean Losing Your School? Effects of Foreclosure on the School Mobility of Children Regional Science and Urban Economics, 41(4), 2011: 407-414.
Abstract

In the last few years, millions of homes around the country have entered foreclosure, pushing many families out of their homes and potentially forcing their children to move to new schools. Unfortunately, despite considerable attention to the causes and consequences of mortgage defaults, we understand little about the distribution and severity of these impacts on school children. This paper takes a step toward filling that gap through studying how foreclosures in New York City affect the mobility of public school children across schools. A significant body of research suggests that, in general, switching schools is costly for students, though the magnitude of the effect depends critically on the nature of the move and the quality of the origin and destination schools.

Chellman, Colin, Ingrid Ellen, Brian McCabe, Amy Ellen Schwartz and Leanna Stiefel 2011. Does Municipally Subsidized Housing Improve School Quality? Evidence from New York City Journal of the American Planning Association, 77 (2): 127-141.
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Abstract

Problem: Policymakers and community development practitioners view increasing subsidized owner-occupied housing as a mechanism to improve urban neighborhoods, but little research studies the impact of such investments on community amenities.

Purpose: We examine the impact of subsidized owner-occupied housing on the quality of local schools and compare them to the impacts of city investments in rental units.

Methods: Using data from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), we estimate three main sets of regressions, exploring student characteristics, school resources, and school outcomes.

Results and conclusions: The completion of subsidized owner-occupied housing is associated with a decrease in schools’ percentage of free-lunch eligible students, an increase in schools’ percentage of White students, and, controlling for these compositional changes, an increase in scores on standardized reading and math exams. By contrast, our results suggest that investments in rental housing have little, if any, effect.

Takeaway for practice: Policies promoting the construction of subsidized owner-occupied housing have solidified in local governments around the country. Our research provides reassurance to policymakers and planners who are concerned about the spillover effects of subsidized, citywide investments beyond the households being directly served. It suggests that benefits from investments in owner occupancy may extend beyond the individual level, with an increase in subsidized owner-occupancy bringing about improvements in neighborhood school quality.

Conger, Dylan, Leanna Stiefel, and Amy Ellen Schwartz 2011. The Effect of Immigrant Communities on Foreign-Born Student Achievement International Migration Review, 45(3):675-701
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Abstract

This paper explores the effect of the human capital characteristics of co-ethnic immigrant communities on foreign-born students’ math achievement. We use data on New York City public school foreign-born students from 39 countries merged with census data on the characteristics of the immigrant household heads in the city from each nation of origin and estimate regressions of student achievement on co-ethnic immigrant community characteristics, controlling for student and school attributes. We find that the income and size of the co-ethnic immigrant community has no effect on immigrant student achievement, while the percent of college graduates may have a small positive effect. In addition, children in highly English proficient immigrant communities test slightly lower than children from less proficient communities. The results suggest that there may be some protective factors associated with immigrant community members’ education levels and use of native languages.

Stiefel, Amy Ellen Schwartz and Anne Rotenberg 2011. What Do AEFA Members Say? Summary of Results of an Education Finance and Policy Survey Education Finance and Policy, 6 (2): 267-292
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Abstract

In the spring of 2008 the authors surveyed members of the American Education Finance Association (AEFA) to gain insight into their views on education policy issues. The results summarize opinions of this broad group of education researchers and practitioners, providing AEFA members and education leaders with access to views that may be helpful as they consider policies to analyze or pursue. This article reports the results in six areas of current policy interest. How should education aid be distributed? Is school choice a good thing? Does school finance reform work? What has accountability wrought? Can school policies close the black-white achievement gap? And how should teachers be compensated? Our findings identify areas of substantial agreement as well as areas where there is disagreement. For example, there is considerable agreement that state and federal governments should provide additional funding for disadvantaged students but disagreement on how to measure school finance adequacy.

2010

Stiefel, Leanna, Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Dylan Conger 2010. Age of Entry and the High School Performance of Immigrant Youth Journal of Urban Economics 67: 303-314
Abstract

In 2005, immigrants exceeded 12% of the US population, with the highest concentrations in large metropolitan areas. While considerable research has focused on how immigrants affect local wages and housing prices, less research has asked how immigrants fare in US urban public schools. Previous studies find that foreign-born students outperform native-born students in their elementary and middle school years, but urban policymakers and practitioners continue to raise concerns about educational outcomes of immigrants arriving in their high school years.

The authors use data on a large cohort of New York City (NYC) public high school students to examine how the performance of students who immigrate during high school (teen immigrants) differs from that of students who immigrate during middle school (tween immigrants) or elementary school (child immigrants), relative to otherwise similar native-born students. Contrary to prior studies, their difference-in-difference estimates suggest that, ceteris paribus, teen immigrants do well compared to native-born migrants, and that the foreign-born advantage is relatively large among the teen (im)migrants. That said, their findings provide cause for concern about the performance of limited English proficient students, blacks and Hispanics and, importantly, teen migrants. In particular, switching school districts in the high school years - that is, student mobility across school districts - may be more detrimental than immigration per se. Results are robust to alternative specifications and cohorts, including a cohort of Miami students.

 

Ellen, I.G., Schwartz, A.E., McCabe, B. & Chellman, C. 2010. Do Public Schools Disadvantage Students Living in Public Housing? Urban Affairs Review, 46 (1):68-89.
Abstract

In the United States, public housing developments are predominantly located in neighborhoods with low median incomes, high rates of poverty and disproportionately high concentrations of minorities. While research consistently shows that public housing developments are located in economically and socially disadvantaged neighborhoods, we know little about the characteristics of the schools serving students in these neighborhoods.

In this paper, the authors examine the characteristics of elementary and middle schools attended by students living in public housing developments in New York City. Using the proportion of public housing students attending each elementary and middle school as their weight, they calculate the weighted average of school characteristics to describe the typical school attended by students living in public housing. They then compare these characteristics to those of the typical school attended by other students throughout the city in an effort to assess whether public schools systematically disadvantage students in public housing in New York City. 

Their  results are decidedly mixed. On one hand, they find no large differences between the resources of the schools attended by students living in public housing and the schools attended by their peers living elsewhere in the city; on the other hand, they find significant differences in student characteristics and outcomes. The typical school attended by public housing students has higher poverty rates and lower average performance on standardized exams than the schools attended by others. These school differences, however, fail to fully explain the performance disparities: they find that students living in public housing score lower, on average, on standardized tests than their schoolmates living elsewhere -- even though they attend the same school. These results point to a need for more nuanced analyses of policies and practices in schools, as well as the outside-of-school factors that shape educational success, to identify and address the needs of students in public housing.

2009

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Zabel, J. 2009. Spending, Size, and Grade Span in K-8 Schools Education Finance and Policy, 4(1): 60-88
Abstract

Reorganizing primary school grade spans is a tractable and relatively inexpensive school reform. However, assessing the effects of reorganization requires also examining other organizational changes that may accompany grade span reforms. Using data on New York City public schools from 1996 to 2002 and exploiting within-school variations, we examine relationships among grade span, spending, and size. We find that school grade span is associated with differences in school size, class size, and grade size, though generally not with spending and other resources. In addition, we find class size and grade size differences in the same grade level at schools with different configurations, suggesting that school grade span affects not only school size but also class size and grade size. We find few relationships, though, between grade span and school-level performance, pointing to the need to augment these analyses with pupil-level data. We conclude with implications for research and practice.

2008

Ingrid Ellen, Amy Allen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel 2008. Do Economically Integrated Neighborhoods Have Economically Integrated Schools? Howard Wial, Ha; Wolman and Margery Austin Turner, Eds, Urban and Regional Policy and it's Effects. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press, pp 191-205.
Abstract

The goal of this book, the first in a series, is to bring policymakers, practitioners, and scholars up to speed on the state of knowledge on various aspects of urban and regional policy. What do we know about the effectiveness of select policy approaches, reforms, or experiments on key social and economic problems facing cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas? What can we say about what works, what doesn’t, and why? And what does this knowledge and experience imply for future policy questions?

The authors take a fresh look at several different issues (e.g., economic development, education, land use) and conceptualize how each should be thought of. Once the contributors have presented the essence of what is known, as well as the likely implications, they identify the knowledge gaps that need to be filled for the successful formulation and implementation of urban and regional policy.

Rubenstein, R. & Ballal, S., Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. 2008. Equity and Accountability: The Impact of State Accountability Systems on School Finance Journal of Public Budgeting & Finance, 28 (3): 1-22
Abstract

Using an 11-year panel data set containing information on revenues, expenditures, and demographics for every school district in the United States, we examine the effects of state-adopted school accountability systems on the adequacy and equity of school resources. We find little relationship between state implementation of accountability systems and changes in school finance equity, though we do find evidence that states in which courts overturned the school finance system during the decade exhibited significant equity improvements. Additionally, while implementation of accountability per se does not appear linked to changes in resource adequacy, states that implemented strong accountability systems did experience improvements.

Iatarola, P. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Chellman, C. 2008. Measuring School Efficiency: Lessons from Economics, Implications for Practice Teachers College Record, Volume 110 Number 9.
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Abstract

High school reform is currently at the top of the education policy making agenda after years of stagnant achievement and persistent racial and income test score gaps. Although a number of reforms offer some promise of improving U.S. high schools, small schools have emerged as the favored reform model, especially in urban areas, garnering substantial financial investments from both the private and public sectors. In the decade following 1993, the number of high schools in New York City nearly doubled, as new "small" schools opened and large high schools were reorganized into smaller learning communities. The promise of small schools to improve academic engagement, school culture, and, ultimately, student performance has drawn many supporters. However, educators, policy makers, and researchers have raised concerns about the unintended consequences of these new small schools and the possibility that students "left behind" in large, established high schools are incurring negative impacts.

Using 10 years (1993-2003) of data on New York City high schools, we examine the potential systemic effects of small schools that have been identified by critics and researchers.

 

Iatarola, P. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Chellman, C. 2008. Small Schools, Large Districts: Small School Reform and New York City’s Students Teachers College Record,
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Abstract

High school reform is currently at the top of the education policy making agenda after years of stagnant achievement and persistent racial and income test score gaps. Although a number of reforms offer some promise of improving U.S. high schools, small schools have emerged as the favored reform model, especially in urban areas, garnering substantial financial investments from both the private and public sectors. In the decade following 1993, the number of high schools in New York City nearly doubled, as new "small" schools opened and large high schools were reorganized into smaller learning communities. The promise of small schools to improve academic engagement, school culture, and, ultimately, student performance has drawn many supporters. However, educators, policy makers, and researchers have raised concerns about the unintended consequences of these new small schools and the possibility that students "left behind" in large, established high schools are incurring negative impacts.

2007

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Bel Hadj Amor, H. 2007. From districts to schools: The distribution of resources across schools in big city school districts Economics of Education Review Oct 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 5, p532-545, 14p
Abstract

While the distribution of resources across school districts is well studied, relatively little attention has been paid to how resources are allocated to individual schools inside those districts. This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts based on factors that reflect differential school costs or factors that may, in practice, be related to the distribution of resources. Using detailed data on school resources and student and school characteristics in New York City, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, we find that schools with higher percentages of poor pupils often receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. We conclude with implications for policy and further research.

Schwartz, A.E., Conger, D. & Stiefel, L. 2007. Immigrant and Native-born Differences in School Stability and Special Education: Evidence from New York City International Migration Review, June 2007, Volume 41, Number 2, pp. 403-432(30).
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Abstract

Using the literature on achievement differences as a framework and motivation, along with data on New York City students, we examine nativity differences in students' rates of attendance, school mobility, school system exit, and special education participation. The results indicate that, holding demographic and school characteristics constant, foreign-born have higher attendance rates and lower rates of participation in special education than native-born. Among first graders, immigrants are also more likely to transfer schools and exit the school system between years than native-born, yet the patterns are different among older students. We also identify large variation according to birth region.

Schwartz, A.E. 2007. College Costs and Income Inequality Economic Inequality and Higher Education. R. Rubenstein and S. Dickert-Conlin ed. Russell Sage Press,
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Abstract

The vast disparities in college attendance and graduation rates between students from different class backgrounds is a growing social concern. Economic Inequality and Higher Education investigates the connection between income inequality and unequal access to higher education, and proposes solutions that the state and federal governments and schools themselves can undertake to make college accessible to students from all backgrounds.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Gould & I.E. 2007. Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26(1): 7-30.
Abstract

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size - implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps.

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. 2007. From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts Economics of Education Review, 26: 532-545.
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Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high-poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels - and consequently, lower salaries - as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City,  Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages
of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Chellman, C.C. 2007. So Many Children Left Behind: Segregation and the Impact of Subgroup Reporting in No Child Left Behind on the Racial Test Score Gap Educational Policy, v21 n3 p527-550.
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Abstract

Although the No Child Left Behind Act was intended to help "all students meet high academic standards," it is focused on subgroups of low-achieving students. The authors analyze the possible impact of the legislation's requirement for performance reporting by racial subgroup in light of the considerable racial segregation in U.S. schools. In particular, using data on elementary and middle schools in New York State, the authors show that the schools are so highly segregated that more than half are too homogeneous to report test scores for any racial or ethnic subgroups. In addition, they show that the racial achievement gap is greatest across segregated schools rather than within integrated ones. The authors analyze the characteristics of schools that are and are not accountable for subgroups, finding that urban schools and large schools are particularly likely to be accountable, and conclude with implications for the reach of the law and for incentives for school segregation.

Schwartz, A.E., Ellen, I.G. & Meltzer, R. 2007. What Do Business Improvement Districts Do for Property Owners? Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Taxation, p431-437, 7p
Abstract

The article discusses the implication of business improvement districts (BIDS) to property owners in the U.S. The scheme first arrived in the country in mid-1970s when urban centers were losing both residents and businesses to suburbs. Such scheme is beneficial to companies because it delivers fair basic services such as security, maintenance, marketing and capital improvements.

2006

Schwartz, A.E & Bel Hadj Amor, H. & Stiefel, L. 2006. Do Good High Schools Produce Good College Students? Early Evidence From New York City In Advances in Applied Microeconomics, Volume 14, Improving School Accountability: Check-Ups or Choice, edited by T. J. Gronberg and D.W. Jansen,
Abstract

We examine variation in high school and college outcomes across New York City public high schools. Using data on 80,000 students who entered high school in 1998 and following them into the City University of New York, we investigate whether schools that produce successful high school students also produce successful college students. We also explore differences in performance across sex, race, and immigration, and we briefly explore selection issues. Specifically, we estimate student-level regressions with school fixed effects, controlling for student characteristics, to identify better and worse performing schools based on state mandated exams, graduation, and college performance.

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2006. Is there a Nativity Gap? New Evidence on the Academic Performance of Immigrant Students Education Finance and Policy. Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 17-49. March 29,
Abstract

Public schools across the United States are educating an increasing number and diversity of immigrant students. Unfortunately, little is known about their performance relative to native-born students and the extent to which the "nativity gap" might be explained by school and demographic characteristics. This article takes a step toward filling that void using data from New York City where 17 percent of elementary and middle school students are immigrants. We explore disparities in performance between foreign-born and native-born students on reading and math tests in three ways�using levels (unadjusted scores), "value-added" scores (adjusted for prior performance), and an education production function. While unadjusted levels and value-added measures often indicate superior performance among immigrants, disparities are substantially explained by student and school characteristics. Further, while the nativity gap differs for students from different world regions, disparities are considerably diminished in fully specified models. We conclude with implications for urban schools in the United States.

Schwartz, A, Kim, D.Y., Stiefel, L. & Zabel, J. 2006. School Efficiency and Student Sub-groups: Is a Good School Good for Everyone? Peabody Journal of Education
Abstract

State and federal accountability reforms are putting considerable pressure on schools to increase the achievement of historically low-performing groups of students and to close test score gaps. In this article, we exploit the differences among the large number of elementary schools in New York City to examine how much schools vary in the efficiency of the education they provide to subgroups. In addition, we examine the extent to which observable school characteristics can account for the variation that exists. We find that New York City elementary schools vary in how well they educate poor students compared to nonpoor students and Asian and White students compared to Black and Hispanic students. The disparities in school efficiency measures between boys and girls are lower than for the other subgroups. There is no conclusive evidence about which school resources and characteristics are associated with more or less efficient education across all subgroups.

2005

Stiefel, L., Rubenstein, R., Schwartz, A.E. & Zabel, J., eds. 2005. Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research Eye on Education: Larchmont, NY,
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Abstract

School performance and efficiency measurement have taken center stage in much of the debate and research in education policy since at least the mid-1990s. Despite the clear theoretical and practical importance of understanding the ways in which school performance can be measured, only limited research exists on alternative ways to measure how well schools are educating their students, delivering what parents want, and using resources efficiently. In this volume, the authors of eight chapters address the measurement of school performance, an issue that lies in between the study of technical characteristics of student assessments, on the one hand, and the effectiveness of accountability systems that use those assessments, on the other. Although psychometricians focus on the reliability, validity, and fairness of individual student assessments, and social scientists address whether state and local accountability systems that use those student assessments are effective ways to influence school performance, the authors of this volume consider the pros and cons of alternative measurements of school performance and efficiency, per se.

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2005. Public Education in the Dynamic City: Lessons from New York City Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 11 (2):157-172.
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Abstract

The plight of urban schools and their failure to adequately and efficiently educate their students has occupied the national discussion about public schools in America over the last quarter century. While there is little doubt that failing schools exist in rural and suburban locations, the image of city school systems as under-financed, inefficient, inequitable and burdened by students with overwhelming needs is particularly well entrenched in the modern American psyche. As the largest school district in the country, New York City attracts particular attention to its problems. To some extent, this image reflects realities. New York City school children, like many urban students around the country, are more likely to be poor, non-white and immigrants, with limited English skills, and greater instability in their schooling, and the new waves of immigrants from around the world bring students with a formidable array of backgrounds, language skills, and special needs. The resulting changes in the student body pose particular challenges for schools. At the same time, despite a decade of school finance litigation and reform, New York continues to have trouble affording the class sizes, highly qualified teachers and other resources that suburban neighbors enjoy. Finally, there is evidence of continuing segregation and disparities in performance between students of different races and ethnicities.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Berne, R. & Chellman, C. 2005. School Finance Court Cases and Disparate Racial Impact: The Contribution of Statistical Analysis in New York Education and Urban Society, February 2005, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp 151-173.
Abstract

Although analyses of state school finance systems rarely focus on the distribution of funds to students of different races, the advent of racial discrimination as an issue in school finance court cases may change that situation. In this article, we describe the background, analyses, and results of plaintiffs' testimony regarding racial discrimination in Campaign for Fiscal Equity Inc. v. State of New York. Plaintiffs employed multiple regression and public finance literature to show that New York State's school finance system had a disparate racial impact on New York City students. We review the legal basis for disparate racial impact claims, with particular emphasis on the role of quantitative statistical work, and then describe the model we developed and estimated for the court case. Finally, we discuss the defendants' rebuttal, the Court's decision, and conclude with observations about the role of analysis in judicial decision making in school finance.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Bel Hadj Amor, H. 2005. Best Schools, Worst Schools and School Efficiency Developments in School Finance - 2004.
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Abstract

Contains papers by state education dept. policymakers, analysts, & data providers on emerging issues in school finance. Includes: estimates of disparities & analysis of the causes of expenditures in public school districts; race, poverty & the student curriculum; court-ordered school finance equalization; resource allocation to schools under conditions of radical decentralization; building equity & effectiveness into school-based funding models; alternative options for deflating education expenditures over time; productivity collapse in schools; & evaluating the effect of teacher degree level on educational performance.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Rubenstein, R. & Zabel, J. 2005. Measuring School Efficiency: What Have We Learned? Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research. Edited by Leanna Stiefel et al. Yearbook of American Education Finance Association, Eye on Education, New York, New York: 1-16,
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Abstract

School performance and efficiency measurement have taken center stage in much of the debate and research in education policy since at least the mid-1990s. Despite the clear theoretical and practical importance of understanding the ways in which school performance can be measured, only limited research exists on alternative ways to measure how well schools are educating their students, delivering what parents want, and using resources efficiently. The authors address the measurement of school performance, an issue that lies between the study of technical characteristics of student assessments, on the one hand, and the effectiveness of accountability systems that use those assessments, on the other. Although psychometricians focus on the reliability, validity, and fairness of individual student assessments, and social scientists address whether state and local accountability systems that use those student assessments are effective ways to influence school performance, the authors of this volume consider the pros and cons of alternative measurements of school performance and efficiency, per se.

Schwartz, A.E., Bel Hadj Amor, H. & Stiefel, L. 2005. Measuring School Performance Using Cost Functions Measuring School Performance and Efficiency: Implications for Practice and Research. Edited by Leanna Stiefel et al. Yearbook of American Education Finance Association, Eye on Education, New York, New York: 1-16,
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Abstract

This chapter develops and explores the use of school-level cost functions for estimating school efficiency and differentiating between more- and less-efficient schools. Using data for elementary and middle schools in the state of Ohio, we explore a range of specifications and the resulting efficiency measures. The next section presents and overview of the literature on education cost functions. In the third section we present the theory of cost functions, and in the fourth section we describe the data. The fifth section provides estimation results, and the chapter concludes in the fifth section with implications and lessons for future research.

Schwartz, A.E., Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H. & Voicu, I. 2005. The External Effects of Place-Based Subsidized Housing New York: Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy,
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Abstract

Prior research has provided little evidence that subsidized housing investments generate significant external benefits to their neighborhoods. This paper revisits the external effects of subsidized housing, exploring the case of New York City. Relying on geocoded administrative data, we estimate a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We find significant and sustained external benefits. Spillovers increase with project size, and decrease with distance from the project sites and with the proportion of units in multi-family, rental buildings. Our results are robust to alternative specifications. Some of the benefit appears due to the effect of the replacement of existing disamenity.

2004

Stiefel, L. & Schwartz, A.E. 2004. Immigrants and the Distribution of Resources within an Urban School District Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Winter 2004, Vol. 26, No. 4. pp- 303-328.
Abstract

In New York City, where almost 14 percent of elementary school pupils are foreign-born and roughly half of these are "recent immigrants," the impact of immigrant students on school resources may be important. While immigrant advocates worry about inequitable treatment of immigrant students, others worry that immigrants drain resources from native-born students. In this article, we explore the variation in school resources and the relationship to the representation of immigrant students. To what extent are variations in school resources explained by the presence of immigrants per se rather than by differences in student educational needs, such as poverty or language skills, or differences in other characteristics, such as race? Our results indicate that, while schools resources decrease with the representation of immigrants, this relationship largely reflects differences in the educational needs of immigrant students. Although analyses that link resources to the representation of foreign-born students in 12 geographic regions of origin find some disparities, these are again largely driven by differences in educational need. Finally, we find that some resources increase over time when there are large increases in the percentage of immigrants in a school, but these results are less precisely estimated. Thus, elementary schools appear not to be biased either against or for immigrants per se, although differences in the needs of particular groups of immigrant students may lead to more (or fewer) school resources.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Rubenstein, R. 2004. From Districts To Schools: The Distribution Of Resources Across Schools in Big City School Districts Symposium on Education Finance and Organization Structure in NYS Schools, Albany, NY, March
Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels � and consequently, lower salaries � as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

Schwartz, A.E. 2004. City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.,
Abstract

In a festschrift to Netzer a public finance economist well known for his research on state and local taxation, urban public services, and nonprofit organizations eight chapters apply microeconomics to problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions. The essays look at alternative methods of financing urban government, such as a land value tax and the impact of sales and income taxes on property taxation; at government expenditures, including housing subsidies; and at subsidies to nonprofit arts groups as well as the role of the nonprofit sector in providing K-12 education. Of interest to the fields of public finance, urban economics, and public administration.

Schwartz, A.E. & Gershberg, A.I. 2004. Immigrants and Education: Evidence from New York City in Milano Review, Howard Berliner, ed., V.4, pp. 7-16.
Abstract

In many urban areas in the United States, immigrant children and the children of immigrants are transforming local schools. Immigrant children face - and pose - significant challenges to these schools, challenges that are in many ways greater than those of earlier waves of immigrants. There is, however, relatively little existing research investigating the ways urban public school systems treat and are influenced by the increasing numbers of immigrant children. Using an extraordinarily rich, student-level panel data set covering all 850 of New York City's elementary and middle schools for 5 years, linked to institutional information on the schools themselves, we study the experience of one large urban school system. Given the extraordinary size and diversity of the immigrant population in New York City, we can consider separately subgroups of immigrants whose experiences in and impacts on urban schools systems are likely to differ greatly. This is particularly important for drawing lessons for other urban areas that face flows of immigrants from specific countries of origin.

Our project contains a cross-sectional and a time series component. To start, we examine the characteristics of the schools and districts attended by New York City's immigrant children, including the extent to which the teachers and resources of different groups of immigrant children differ from each other and from the typical native-born student. We examine the degree to which they are segregated within the city's districts and schools - and investigate the extent to which segregation differs between elementary and middle schools. This is particularly interesting because of the strong link between elementary school choice and residential location and the weaker link (and greater degree of choice) at the middle school level.

We will also focus on the "receiving" schools from the perspective of the native-born students, particularly minority and poorer students. While the presence of recent immigrants brings some supplemental federal funding, and additional resources are typically directed at students with Limited English Proficiency, the net resource impact on the schools and their students is poorly understood.

In the second component of our project (exploiting the time-series nature of our data) we will examine changes in school composition over time. Do specific characteristics drive patterns of change? At the school level, we will assess whether and how the presence of native-born students changes in response to changes in the share of students who are immigrants, children of immigrants, and those with limited English proficiency. By tracking the movement of children from one school to another, we can investigate the characteristics of the origin and destination schools (such as population composition and school resources) that appear to affect mobility and identify groups most sensitive to these factors. Are urban school districts in high immigrant areas likely to suffer from more middle-class flight? To what extent does the response depend upon the socioeconomic characteristics of the immigrants - their race, ethnicity, language proficiency, and/or country of origin? This second piece moves beyond a cross-sectional assessment of the resource allocations and impacts associated with immigration, to suggest how these impacts will change over time for other urban districts receiving immigrant children and, perhaps, the issues and problems that policymakers to consider in formulation policy responses.

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Kim, D.Y. 2004. The Impact of School Reform on Student Performance: Evidence from the New York Network for School Renewal Project Journal of Human Resources, spring 2004, pages 500-522.
Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of the New York Networks for School Renewal Project, a whole school reform initiated by the Annenberg Foundation as part of a nationwide reform strategy. It uses data on students in randomly chosen control schools to estimate impacts on student achievement, using an intent-to-treat design. After controlling for student demographic, mobility, and school characteristics, the authors find positive impacts for students attending reform schools in the fourth Grade, mixed evidence for fifth Grade, and slight to no evidence for sixth Grade. On average, there is a small positive impact. The paper illustrates how relatively inexpensive administrative data can be used to evaluate education reforms.

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I. 2004. The Role of Cities in Providing Housing Assistance: A New York Perspective In Amy Ellen Schwartz, ed., City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer. Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.,
Abstract

In a festschrift to Netzer-a public finance economist well known for his research on state and local taxation, urban public services, and nonprofit organizations-eight chapters apply microeconomics to problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions. The essays look at alternative methods of financing urban government, such as a land value tax and the impact of sales and income taxes on property taxation; at government expenditures, including housing subsidies; and at subsidies to nonprofit arts groups as well as the role of the nonprofit sector in providing K-12 education. Of interest to the fields of public finance, urban economics, and public administration.

Schwartz, A.E. & Scafidi, B.P. 2004. What’s Happened to the Price of College? Quality Adjusted Net Price Indices for Four Year Colleges Journal of Human Resources. 2004, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 723-45.
Abstract

In this paper we estimate hedonic models of the (consumer) price of college to construct quality-adjusted net price indexes for U.S. four-year colleges, where the net price of college is defined as tuition and fees minus financial aid. For academic years 1990-91 to 1994-95, we find adjusting for financial aid leads to a 22 percent decline in the estimated price index for all four-year colleges, while quality adjusting the results leads to a further, albeit smaller, decline. Nevertheless, public comprehensive colleges, perhaps an important gateway to college for students from low-income backgrounds, experienced the largest net price increases.

2003

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I. 2003. Housing Production Subsidies and Neighborhood Revitalization: New York City’s Ten Year Capital Plan for Housing Economic Policy Review, June 2003, pages 71-85.
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Abstract

A perennial question in housing policy concerns the form that housing assistance should take. Although some argue that housing assistance should be thought of as a form of income support and advocate direct cash grants to needy households, others favor earmarked assistance—but they differ over whether subsidies should be given to the recipients as vouchers or to developers as production subsidies. The appropriate composition of housing assistance has recently taken on particular import. In 2000, Congress created the Millennial Housing Commission and gave it the task of evaluating the “effectiveness and efficiency” of methods to promote housing through the private sector. As part of its mandate, the commission is examining changes to existing programs as well as the creation of new production programs to increase affordable housing. This paper reexamines the debate over the appropriate form of housing assistance.

Stiefel, L., Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E. 2003. Better than Raw: A Guide to Measuring Organizational Performance with Adjusted Performance Measures Public Administration Review,
Abstract

Like oysters on the half shell, some things are better when they're raw. In evaluating the performance of organizations and providing guidance for improving performance, however, raw performance measures, such as test scores or success rates, are often inferior to performance measures adjusted for client and environmental characteristics, or adjusted performance measures (APMs). Using examples from a variety of public services and data on public schools in Georgia, we compare the performance data generated by raw scores and by APMs. We conclude with guidance for constructing and using adjusted performance measures.

Schwartz, A.E., Rubenstein, R., Stiefel, L. & Bel Hadj Amor, H. 2003. Distinguishing Good Schools from Bad in Principle and Practice: A Comparison of Four Methods in Developments in School Finance 2003, National Center for Education Statistics.
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Abstract

For over a decade, perhaps no other issue in education has generated the same level of debate and policy activity as school accountability. At their most basic, accountability policies tie school rewards and sanctions to measures of school performance, typically specified as either performance levels (for example, aggregate percentile ranks or the percentage of students meeting specified benchmarks) or changes in performance (for example, increases in aggregate test scores or in the percentage of students meeting benchmarks). While most accountability efforts have been enacted at the state and local level, the peak of this movement may be the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, which requires states to demonstrate adequate yearly progress in reading and mathematics performance by school and by subgroups within schools. Common to these reform efforts is the underlying notion that incentives based upon measures of school performance will spur improvements in student performance.

Schwartz, A.E., Susin, S. & Voicu, I. 2003. Has Falling Crime Driven New York City’s Real Estate Boom? Journal of Housing Research, Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 101-135.
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Abstract

New York City experienced a dramatic decrease in crime over the past decade. This article examines whether this drop has driven the city's post-1994 real estate boom. Using data that include detailed information about properties sold in New York City-including actual transaction prices-as well as information about crime, schools, and housing investment between 1998 and 1999, the authors employ both hedonic and repeat-sales house price models to analyze the relative impact of these factors on the city's property values.

The results demonstrate that falling crime rates are responsible for roughly one-third of the total post-1994 real price appreciation of property. Education quality and subsidized housing investment were each responsible for roughly 20 percent of the increase. The authors also point out that during the earlier property value bust, crime and education played a relatively small role, while subsidized housing investment seems to have played a large role.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Kim, D.Y. & Portas, C. 2003. School Budgeting and School Performance: The Impact of New York City’s Performance Driven Budgeting Initiative Journal of Education Finance, Volume 28, Number 3, pages 403-424.
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Abstract

Performance Driven Budgeting (PDB) is a school-based budgeting initiative that was instituted in a select group of New York City schools beginning in the 1997-1998 school year. This paper analyzes the impact of the initiative on student test scores in the fourth and fifth grades and on spending patterns. Using school-level data provided by the New York City Board of Education, we construct a panel dataset of 609 elementary and middle schools over a span of four years, 1995-96 through 1998-99. To analyze the impact of the initiative we estimate school production function models that incorporate school fixed effects and an indicator for participation in PDB. After controlling for these and other student-body characteristics, we find that PDB had a positive effect on some student test scores and led to a change in the mix of spending, but not its level.

Chellman, C., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2003. Test Score Gaps in New York State Schools: What do Fourth and Eighth Grade Results Show? Condition Report, Education Finance Research Consortium, New York State Education Department, Fall
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Abstract

This report analyzes performance gaps by race/ethnicity, income and gender in New York State schools using fourth and eighth grade math and English language test results. Their results highlight the legacy of racial segregation where many schools have too few whites or non-whites to allow a meaningful calculation of the subgroup test performance or test score ‘gap’ between schools. Even with a minimum sub-group size of six, only 45.7% of elementary schools had enough whites or non-whites to calculate gaps. Findings indicate that the gaps do differ substantially; gaps between racially segregated schools are over 2.5 times greater than gaps in mixed schools.

2002

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Susin, S. 2002. Building Homes, Reviving Neighborhoods: Spillovers from Subsidized Construction of Owner-Occupied Housing in New York City Journal of Housing Research 12(2), pp. 185�216. Reprinted in Eric Belsky, ed., Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.
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Abstract

This article examines the impact of two New York City homeownership programs on surrounding property values. Both programs, Nehemiah Program and the Partnership New Homes program subsidize the construction of affordable owner-occupied homes in distressed neighborhoods. We use a geocoded data set that includes every property transaction in the City from 1980 to 1999.

Our analysis relies on a difference-in-difference approach. Specifically, we compare the prices of properties in small rings surrounding the Partnership and Nehemiah sites with prices of comparable properties that are in the same ZIP code but outside the ring. We then examine whether the magnitude of this difference changes after the completion of a homeownership development. Our results show that during the past two decades prices of properties in the rings surrounding the homeownership projects have risen relative to their ZIP codes. Results suggest that part of that rise is attributable to the affordable homeownership programs.

 

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2002. Immigrant Children and Urban Schools: Evidence from New York City on Segregation and its Consequences for Schooling Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs,
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Abstract

Immigrant children represent a large and growing proportion of school children in the United States, especially in urban areas. An estimated 10.4 percent of the U.S. population is now foreign-born (the highest percentage since 1930); and in central cities, the proportion has risen to 16 percent (Lollock 2001; Schmidley and Gibson 1997). Yet we know surprisingly little about the experience or isolation levels of foreign-born students. While there is considerable research on the degree to which racial minorities are isolated in U.S. schools and on the disturbing consequences of this segregation, there is no parallel research concerning immigrants.
The goal of this paper is to begin to examine this issue, looking at evidence from New York City. In particular, we address two main questions. First, how segregated are immigrant students in New York's schools and how does that segregation vary across groups with differing language skills and from different regions of the world? Second, to the extent we do see segregation, how different are the schools attended by immigrant children (either overall or from particular regions) in terms of student characteristics, teachers, and funding levels?
New York City is an especially apt place to study immigrant students because the city's public schools educate so many immigrants, from such a broad range of countries (over 200), speaking a great diversity of languages (over 120). In addition, we have been able to assemble an extraordinarily detailed data set, which allows us to exploit the richness that New York City's student body provides.
The paper is organized as follows. In the first section we review the literature on school segregation and explore the ways in which segregation might affect immigrant students. In section two we describe our data and provide a brief statistical portrait of immigrant students in New York City. In section three, we lay out the methods and hypotheses to be explored in this paper, while in section four we present our analysis of segregation of immigrant students. Section five concludes.

Schwartz, A.E., Bel Hadj Amor, H. & Fruchter, N. 2002. Private Money/Public Schools: Early Evidence on Private and Non-Traditional Support for New York City Public Schools in Fiscal Issues in Urban Schools, Research in Education Fiscal Policy and Practice: Volume One, Christopher Roellke and Jennifer King Rice, editors. Information Age Publishing.
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Abstract

The use of private money to support public schools in New York City captured the attention of the public in 1997, as parents in a Greenwich Village elementary school tried to raise private salary funds to prevent one of their teachers from being reassigned. While some heralded the parents for their commitment to their children's education and their willingness to fight to improve their public school, others lamented the action, citing concerns for funding equity between more affluent schools and economically disadvantaged schools. In the end, the Chancellor decided to maintain the teacher in question, but not to accept the privately-raised revenues out of a concern for setting a precedent for allowing parents to fund "core functions" rather than "enrichment" programs. Clearly, this concern stemmed, at least in part, from an underlying worry that allowing schools to seek and accept privately-raised revenues would pose a threat to the equity of schooling in New York City. Would accepting privately-raised money lead schools serving higher income students to have better funding (or better teachers, smaller classes, for example) than those serving lower income students? At the same time, privately-raised resources may also present efficiency concerns. Would curricula or programmatic offerings be chosen based upon the availability of outside funding, rather than the particular needs of the students? This paper explores both the equity and efficiency issues surrounding the use of privately-raised revenues to support public schools, and provides some evidence on the distribution of privately-raised support across public schools in New York City.

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I. 2002. Revitalizing Inner-City Neighborhoods: New York City's Ten Year Plan for Housing Housing Policy Debate 13(3),
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Abstract

This article examines the impact of New York City's Ten-Year Plan on the sale prices of homes in surrounding neighborhoods. Beginning in the mid-1980s, New York City invested $5.1 billion in constructing or rehabilitating over 180,000 units of housing in many of the city's most distressed neighborhoods. One of the main purposes was to spur neighborhood revitalization.

In this article, we describe the origins of the Ten-Year Plan, as well as the various programs the city used to implement it, and estimate whether housing built or rehabilitated under the Ten-Year Plan affected the prices of nearby homes. The prices of homes within 500 feet of Ten-Year Plan units rose relative to those located beyond 500 feet, but still within the same census tract. These findings are consistent with the proposition that well-planned project based housing programs can generate positive spillover effects and contribute to efforts to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods.

 

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Iatarola, P. 2002. School Performance and Resource Use: The Role of Districts in New York City in Fiscal Issues in Urban Schools, Research in Education Fiscal Policy and Practice: Volume One, Christopher Roellke and Jennifer King Rice, editors. Information Age Publishing.
Abstract

State accountability systems as well as the system written into the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act rely on measures of performance to judge how well schools are educating their students. While the role of districts in financing schools is well known, relatively little attention has been paid to any other function the district might have in determining school performance. Advocates for school-based budgeting and school-based financing argue that educational policymaking and primary control cover budgeting is best left to schools, with more limited responsibilities for districts in areas such as support services for joint purchasing or professional development. At the same time, the movements toward greater state financing and more stringent state accountability systems are strong forces shifting revenue raising and authority aver curriculum from the district to the state level. Do districts continue to matter at all in how schools perform? Why and in what ways?

2001

Iatarola, P., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2001. Determinants of School Performance in New York Elementary Schools: Results and Implications for Resource Use Condition Report for the New York State Education Finance Research Consortium. May
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Abstract

This study seeks to identify and better understand factors that determine differences in performance/efficiency between various schools. It also examines through statistical analysis strengths and weaknesses of the production-function based approach to assessing school performance in New York City schools. The authors conclude that there is no statistical way to select a school performance/efficiency measure because results can vary significantly depending on how performance is defined. They contend this leads to important implications regarding the ability to accurately rank schools.

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2001. Measuring School Efficiency: Lessons from Economics, Implications for Practice in Improving Educational Productivity: Lessons from Economics, David Monk, Herbert Wahlberg, and Margaret Wang, ed., pp. 115-137.
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Abstract

Estimating efficiency and productivity in education involves confronting and addressing a host of difficulties in measuring inputs and outputs, capturing environmental influences, compensating for data scarcity, and determining causality. Nevertheless, recent improvements in data quality and availability and accompanying advances in statistical methods offer the promise of improved measures of school efficiency and the prospect of identifying the determinants of efficiency across schools and school districts and over time. This chapter discusses approaches to measuring K-12 efficiency and the relative merits of each, explaining the complexities of applying these techniques in the real world, and concludes with lessons learned for practitioners.

Scafidi, B. & Schwartz, A.E. 2001. Quality Adjusted Net Price Indices for Four Year Colleges Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Paper number WP-337.
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Abstract

Since the earlier 1980's the "sticker price" of a college education in the United States has, according to estimates from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), risen significantly faster than the overall rate of inflation. For the CPI, the government collects data on the "sticker price" of college (tuition and fees) without adjusting for scholarships given or other discounts. Further, no adjustments are made for changes in the quality or characteristics of the services provided, such as attributes of the faculty, the course offerings, or the facilities. Thus, the estimated price indices reflect changes in quality and characteristics of college as well as changes in prices. In this paper, we develop and explore the construction of a quality-adjusted price index for US colleges, based on the estimation of a hedonic model of the price of college. Our analysis indicates that estimating price indexes using hedonic methods is both feasible and useful.

Schwartz, A.E. 2001. Tax and the City in Re-thinking the Urban Agenda, John Mollenkopf and Ken Emerson, eds., Century Foundation, pp. 63-74.
Abstract

The culmination of a year-long lecture series cosponsored by The Century Foundation and the City University of New York Graduate Center's Center for Urban Research, 'Rethinking the Urban Agenda' takes up the challenge provided by a changing of the guard in New York City government-the election of a new mayor and city council-to outline a new conceptual and political road map for New York City's future and, in many important respects, for the future of urban America.

2000

Ellen, I.G. & Schwartz, A.E. 2000. No Easy Answers Brookings Review, Summer 2000, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p44, 4p.
Abstract

Discusses the strategies applied to foster economic growth among cities in the United States. Measurement of the impact of economic development programs; Effectiveness of infrastructure investments to boost economic growth; Impact of tax cuts on economy; Development of sports stadiums and arenas.

1999

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Rubenstein, R. 1999. Measuring School Efficiency Using School-Level Data: Theory and Practice in Margaret Goertz and Allan Odden, eds., School-Based Financing, Corw, pp 40-74.
Abstract

Schwartz, A.E. 1999. School Districts and Spending in the Schools Selected Papers in School Finance-99, pp 55-83.
Abstract

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Rubenstein, R. 1999. Using Adjusted Performance Measures for Evaluating Resource Use Public Budgeting and Finance, Volume 19, No. 3, Fall .
Abstract

Public service organizations are looking for ways to improve the evaluation of performance and resource allocation. One of the approaches is to use adjusted performance measures, which attempt to Capture factors that affect the organizational performance but are outside of the organization's control. This article illustrates the construction and use of adjusted performance measures to assess the performance of public schools, and reports findings from a study of school-based budgeting in Chicago that relates adjusted performance measures and patterns of budget allocations.

1998

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Rubenstein, R. 1998. Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Measurement of School Efficiency National Tax Journal, Proceedings from 91st Annual Conference, pp 267-274.
Abstract

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Rubenstein, R. 1998. Education Finance in The Handbook of Public Finance, Fred Thompson and Mark Green, eds., Marcel Dekker Publishers.
Abstract

1997

Schwartz, A.E. 1997. Public Characteristics and Expenditures on Public Service: An Empirical Analysis Public Finance Review, March, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp 163-181.
Abstract

Examines the provision of police and education services using a new method of indexing quantities of local public services that isolates movements in shadow prices and quantities in expenditure data. Effects of public services on public characteristics; Link between expenditures between 1982 and 1983 and quantities of education and in prices of public services.

1996

Schwartz, A.E. & Altshuler, R. 1996. On the Progressivity of the Child Care Tax Credit: Snapshot Versus Time-Exposure Incidence National Tax Journal, March, pp 55-71.
Abstract

We evaluate the progressivity of the federal Child Care Tax Credit using the Ernst and Young/ University of Michigan panel of tax return data. Incidence measures are calculated using both annual and "time-exposure" income to measure ability to pay. Both indicate that the benefits of the credit are progressively distributed. Replacing annual with time-exposure income dramatically increases the proportion of the credit received by lower-income taxpayers and yields a more even distribution of benefits across middle- and upper-income taxpayers. Our results suggest that policymakers should use both income measures to evaluate the credit.

Schwartz, A.E. & Morrison, C. 1996. Public Infrastructure, Private Input Demand and Economic Performance in New England Manufacturing Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Vol. 14, No. 1, Jan, pp 91-102.
Abstract

Much of the current debate on the economic performance impacts of public infrastructure investment relates to the input-specific effects of such investment. In this article we explore these impacts by evaluating substitution patterns affecting private input use in New England manufacturing. Using a cost-based methodology, we find that, in the short run, public capital expenditures provide cost-saving benefits that exceed the associated investment costs due to substitutability between public capital and private inputs. Over time, however, stimulating investment in private capital increases economic performance more effectively than public capital expenditures alone and in fact reduces the cost incentive for such expenditures. In addition, growth in output motivated by infrastructure investment increases employment opportunities because this growth overrides short-run substitutability.

Schwartz, A.E. & Morrison, C. 1996. State Infrastructure and Productive Performance American Economic Review, December 1996, Vol. 86, No. 5, pp 1095-1111.
Abstract

Recent research on productivity growth has focused on public infrastructure and its impact on economic growth and productivity. We construct a model of firms' technology and behavior, taking advantage of the analytical framework provided in the cost-function-based applied production-theory literature, and apply it to state-level data for U.S. manufacturing. We find that infrastructure investment provides a significant return to manufacturing firms and augments productivity growth. The net benefits of infrastructure investment may or may not be positive, depending upon the social costs of infrastructure investment and the relative growth rates of output and infrastructure.

1995

Holtz-Eakin, D. & Schwartz, A.E. 1995. Infrastructure in a structural model of economic growth Regional Science & Urban Economics, April, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p131, 21p.
Abstract

Proposes a neoclassical economic growth model to show the connection between infrastructure and productivity growth. Model as a framework for analyzing the empirical importance of public capital accumulation to productivity growth in the United States between 1971 and 1986; Characteristics of the growth path toward the steady state; Econometric implications.

Schwartz, A.E. & Holtz-Eakin, D. 1995. The Interstate Spatial Productivity Spillovers from Public Infrastructure: Evidence from State Highways International Tax and Public Finance, Vol. 2, No. 3, November 1995, pp 259-268.
Abstract

1993

Schwartz, A.E. 1993. Individual production, community characteristics and the provision of local public services Journal of Public Economics, Feb 93, Vol. 50 Issue 2, p277, 13p.
Abstract

Suggests a method of indexing local public services using community characteristics to allow the isolation of movements in prices and quantities from expenditure data. Differences in individual production functions for commodities where both private goods and community characteristics are inputs of production; Impact of government activities on community characteristics and production.

1992

Reschovsky, A. & Schwartz, A.E. 1992. Evaluating the Success of Need-Based State Aid in the Presence of Property Tax Limitations Public Finance Quarterly, Oct 92, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p483, 16p.
Abstract

Discusses the use of grants-in-aid to reduce fiscal disparities by local governments in the United States. Method used in Massachusetts to account for differences among communities in fiscal costs and resources; Indepth look at expenditure determination in tax limitations; Estimation of local government expenditures.

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