The GiveWell Blog

KIPP Houston has a 1.4 million dollar shortfall. How did this happen?

KIPP is one of the most well-known and, we believe, effective charities in the United States: it has a long track record of improving students’ performance in school and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has cited it as a model for education reform. In our recent analysis of KIPP, we’ve been surprised to learn that… Read More

Chess in the Schools

The New York Times recently profiled Chess in the Schools: The Chess-in-the-Schools program has sought to foster analytical skills on the theory that these will help students succeed academically. The group teaches 20,000 children a year and calculates that it has taught 425,000 children since 1986. Children gather to learn the game at the group’s… Read More

Followup on Fryer/Dobbie study of “Harlem miracle”

I recently posted about a new, intriguing study on the Harlem Children’s Zone. It’s now been a little over a week since David Brooks’s op-ed brought the study some major attention, and I’ve been keeping up with the reaction of other blogs. Here’s a summary: Methodology: unusually strong I haven’t seen any major complaints about… Read More

Two worlds

Why are people so excited about one study of one charter school showing improved performance on math tests? (Our coverage of the study here). It’s because in academic circles, improving academic performance is seen as an extremely thorny problem with a very long list of past failures. (See pages 1-2 of the paper for an… Read More

Where I stand on education, my former favorite cause

Education used to be my favorite cause. My enthusiasm waned as I saw both the cost-effectiveness of international aid and the apparent futility of education. (Elie’s 2007 post captures many of my thoughts.) The study that I’ve been blogging about today (here and here) provides a firmer grounding for our optimism about high-intensity charter schools,… Read More

Fryer and Dobbie on the Harlem Children’s Zone: Significance

My last post summarized a very recent paper by Fryer and Dobbie, finding large gains for charter school students in the Harlem Children’s Zone. (You can get the study here (PDF)). I believe that this paper is an unusually important one, for reasons that the paper itself lays out very well in the first couple… Read More