School effectiveness in Maïssade, Haiti
Under difficult conditions, some community schools supported by Save the Children (SC) in Maïssade, Haiti are producing good results. We tested third graders in 19 schools and found that while national school students on average outperform community school students in reading, some community schools are getting better results than might be expected. In fact, five of the eight best performing schools are community schools. Not only do these community schools perform well, they are doing so at a lower cost than the national schools, demonstrating that community schools can be cost-effective components of the education system in Haiti provided they are appropriately supported and assisted. Furthermore, Save the Children’s program in Maïssade holds important lessons about how the necessary school support can cost-effectively be provided.
The town of Maïssade is the center of operations for a program that reaches out to 80 community, national, and private schools, serving between 10,000 and 11,000 children. The schools and the families they serve are scattered over the steep hillsides of this undeveloped district. With no roads, many of the schools can only be reached after several hours of travel by foot or mule. During the rainy season, steep paths and swollen rivers make some journeys impossible.