Community schools aim to enhance pupils’ cognitive and social-emotional skills. They differ from traditional schools by a more intense cooperation with parents and institutions in their neighbourhood and by offering multiple extracurricular activities. However, empirical evidence on the contribution of community schools to educational achievement is lacking.
We use Mahalanobis matching techniques to evaluate the impact of community schools, the budget allocated to them and their activities on pupils’ cognitive and non-cognitive skills. We find that attending a community school as such does not affect pupils’ cognitive or social-emotional skills. Moreover has neither the length of the experience, nor the size of the subsidy a robust effect on cognitive or social-emotional outcomes. However, the data show that specific activities financed with the subsidy do have an effect. For instance, activities directly reinforcing the learning process, the school climate and parental involvement lead to significantly higher cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.
Keywords: Community schools, educational progress, effectiveness, cognitive and social-emotional skills
JEL-classification: I21, I28, C21, H20