Tim Kautz. Evaluation of Chicago’s OneGoal Program. ($50K)
Success in life depends on non-academic skills like self-control, persistence, and curiosity. However, these skills are largely overlooked in US high schools. Chicago’s OneGoal program is an exception. It helps disadvantaged students transition from high school by teaching non-academic skills. OneGoal is promising. Coming from schools in which less than 9% of students earn a bachelor’s degree, 94% of OneGoal participants attend college and 84% of the attendees complete the first year. OneGoal selects students in the middle 60% of their class. Using administrative data from Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department, I will conduct the first rigorous evaluation of OneGoal to estimate its effect on cognitive skills, non-academic skills, crime, high school graduation, college attendance, and college persistence. I will use a variety of methods including matching, regression discontinuity, and models that account for selection using an exclusion restriction (instrumental variable). I will also estimate the rate of return and determine the extent to which the program affects outcomes by changing cognitive and non-academic skills. In doing so, I will showcase how non-academic skills can be measured using administrative data available in most schools.