however, how dropout can be effectively reduced, as many different factors are determining student dropout. Community schools recognize this and modernize education such that it better accommodates students' personal needs. As a result these schools cooperate more with external organizations, stimulate parental involvement in the educational process and organize more extracurricular activities. Despite the increasing number of community schools, there is no empirical evidence that these schools reduce student dropout. This study examines the impact of Dutch community schools on student dropout. It focuses in particular on pre-vocational education, because dropout is particularly high in this educational track. Moreover, the focus is on the city of Rotterdam because this city is a forerunner in the Netherlands in establishing community schools. Unique registration data are used on all Rotterdam students who were enrolled in pre-vocational education between 2004 and 2008. The impact of community schools is identiffied by exploiting the fact that
community schools were created not before the beginning of the school year 2006/2007. This enables us to estimate the community school impact by means of a difference-in-differences estimation model combined with an iterative matching approach. The estimation results suggest that community schools are as effective as regular schools with respect to dropout reduction. Community school subsidies do not seem to contribute to reducing dropout.
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