Thursday, February 15, 2018

Refugee Students Effects on Classmates Academic Achievement

A working paper from researchers at Northwestern University and the American Institutes for Research found no evidence that refugee students have a negative effect on the behavior or academic achievement of their schoolmates. In examining the effects of a large refugee influx into Florida public schools following the Haitian earthquake of 2010 using unique matched birth and schooling records, the researchers found precise zero estimated effects of refugees on the educational outcomes of incumbent students in the year of the earthquake or in the two years that follow, regardless of the socioeconomic status, grade level, ethnicity, or birthplace of incumbent students. This study is important because it may help sway the opinions of some parents and faculty oppose reintegration of displaced refugees or minorities into the schools.

Figlio, D. N., & Özek, U. (2017). Unwelcome guests? The effects of refugees on the 
educational outcomes of incumbent students. National Bureau of Economic Research 
Working Paper Series, (23661).

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