Social & Economic Factors Education Employment Income Family & Social Support Community Safety Search Policies & Programs

hints
Display All Policies & Programs

Promise Academy

Health Factors: Education
Decision Makers: Educators Local Government State Government Nonprofit Leaders
Evidence Rating: Some Evidence
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.

Description

The Promise Academy is a “No Excuses” charter school in the Harlem Children’s Zone that is available to eligible New York City children selected via admittance lottery. The academy emphasizes academic achievement, has a culture of high behavioral and academic expectations, and offers intense tutoring in math and English Language Arts. It selectively hires teachers, uses value-added measures to evaluate them, and limits teachers’ administrative responsibilities. Teachers receive frequent feedback, and modify instruction based on student performance data. Students are in school for roughly twice as many hours as students in New York City’s traditional public schools. The Promise Academy provides free medical, dental, and mental health services to all students; additional social and community services are available to families living in the Harlem Children’s Zone (NBER-Dobbie 2013).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased academic achievement
Improved student attendance
Increased college enrollment
Reduced teen pregnancy
Reduced incarceration

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is some evidence that students offered Promise Academy entry have higher academic achievement than those who apply but do not win the admittance lottery (Dobbie 2011, NBER-Dobbie 2013). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Students offered admission to the Promise Academy appear to increase mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) achievement more than youth who do not win admission (NBER-Dobbie 2013, Dobbie 2011). Academy students are absent from school less frequently (Dobbie 2011) and appear more likely to enroll in college (NBER-Dobbie 2013). Girls offered admission appear less likely to become pregnant during their teenage years than non-admitted peers, and boys who attend the Promise Academy may be less likely to be incarcerated (NBER-Dobbie 2013). Increases in student achievement may lead to increased earnings, and a decreased likelihood of committing crimes or developing health disabilities later in life (Dobbie 2011). 

Effects appear to be driven by the Promise Academy charter school, not the additional social and community services available through the Harlem Children’s Zone (Dobbie 2011, Brookings-Croft 2010). Additional research is needed to determine whether the Promise Academy model can be effectively scaled (Yeh 2013).

Implementation

United States

The Promise Academy is part of the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) in New York City (HCZ-PA). The US Department of Education funds Promise Neighborhoods, inspired by the HCZ, to support children from cradle to college to career with health, social, educational, and community services. Promise Neighborhoods are located throughout the nation (PNI). School model varies by neighborhood.

Wisconsin

Schools That Can Milwaukee is a network of schools seeking to replicate the practices of high performing schools such as the Promise Academy in low income areas (STCM). In 2012, Adams County won a planning grant to start a Promise Neighborhood (PNI).

Implementation Resources

HCZ-PA - Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ). Promise Academy K-12 Charter Schools. Accessed on February 1, 2016

Citations - Description

NBER-Dobbie 2013* - Dobbie W, Fryer Jr. RG. The medium-term impacts of high-achieving charter schools on non-test score outcomes. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); 2013. Accessed on December 15, 2015

Citations - Evidence

Brookings-Croft 2010 - Croft M, Whitehurts GJ. The Harlem Children's Zone, Promise Neighborhoods, and the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution; 2010. Accessed on February 4, 2016
Dobbie 2011* - Dobbie W, Fryer RG. Are high-quality schools enough to increase achievement among the poor? Evidence from the Harlem Children’s Zone †. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 2011;3(July):158–87. Accessed on January 20, 2016
NBER-Dobbie 2013* - Dobbie W, Fryer Jr. RG. The medium-term impacts of high-achieving charter schools on non-test score outcomes. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); 2013. Accessed on December 15, 2015
Yeh 2013* - Yeh SS. A re-analysis of the effects of KIPP and the Harlem promise academies. Teachers College Record. 2013;115(4):1-20. Accessed on June 30, 2016

Citations - Implementation

HCZ-PA - Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ). Promise Academy K-12 Charter Schools. Accessed on February 1, 2016
PNI - Promise Neighborhoods Institute (PNI). Promise Neighborhoods Network Sites. Accessed on February 2, 2016
STCM - Schools That Can Milwaukee (STCM). Partner Schools. Accessed on February 1, 2016

Page Last Updated

February 11, 2016

* Journal subscription may be required for access.