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Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance

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  • Dave E. Marcotte

    ()
    (Department of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

  • Steven W. Hemelt

    ()
    (Department of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Abstract

Do students perform better on statewide assessments in years in which they have more school days to prepare? We explore this question using data on math and reading assessments taken by students in the third, fifth, and eighth grades since 1994 in Maryland. Our identification strategy is rooted in the fact that tests are administered on the same day(s) statewide in late winter or early spring, so any unscheduled closings due to snow reduce instruction time and are not made up until after the exams are over. We estimate that in academic years with an average number of unscheduled closures (five), the number of third graders performing satisfactorily on state reading and math assessments within a school is nearly 3 percent lower than in years with no school closings. The impacts of closure are smaller for students in fifth and eighth grades. Combining our estimates with actual patterns of unscheduled closings in the last three years, we find that more than half of schools failing to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in third-grade math or reading, required under No Child Left Behind, would have met AYP if schools had been open on all scheduled days. © 2008 American Education Finance Association

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 316-338

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:3:y:2008:i:3:p:316-338

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Related research

Keywords: school closings; student performance; academic year length;

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References

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  1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
  2. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2007. "The Impact of Length of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence From the German Short School Years," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1216-1242, October.
  3. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 5708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hanushek, Eric A., 2002. "Publicly provided education," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 2045-2141 Elsevier.
  6. Eren, Ozkan & Millimet, Daniel, 2005. "Time to Learn? The Organizational Structure of Schools and Student Achievement," Departmental Working Papers 0506, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  7. repec:fth:prinin:366 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 231-53, April.
  9. Marcotte, Dave E., 2007. "Schooling and test scores: A mother-natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 629-640, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Asadullah, Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2011. "Poisoning the Mind: Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water Wells and Children's Educational Achievement in Rural Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 5716, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Steven G. Rivkin & Jeffrey C. Schiman, 2013. "Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 19464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Agüero, Jorge M. & Beleche, Trinidad, 2013. "Test-Mex: Estimating the effects of school year length on student performance in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 353-361.
  4. Fitzpatrick, Maria D. & Grissmer, David & Hastedt, Sarah, 2011. "What a difference a day makes: Estimating daily learning gains during kindergarten and first grade using a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 269-279, April.
  5. De Witte, K. & Van Klaveren, C., 2012. "The effect of primary school closures on educational attainments of students," Working Papers 42, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
  6. KALENA CORTES & Joshua Goodman & TAKAKO NOMI, . "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," Working Paper 95941, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. Philipp Mandel & Bernd Süssmuth, 2011. "Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bounds Analysis Based on German State-Level Variation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3580, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Victor Lavy, 2012. "Expanding School Resources and Increasing Time on Task: Effects of a Policy Experiment in Israel on Student Academic Achievement and Behavior," NBER Working Papers 18369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. McMullen, Steven C. & Rouse, Kathryn E., 2012. "School crowding, year-round schooling, and mobile classroom use: Evidence from North Carolina," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 812-823.
  10. Hansen, Benjamin & Lang, Matthew, 2011. "Back to school blues: Seasonality of youth suicide and the academic calendar," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 850-861, October.
  11. Joshua Goodman, 2014. "Flaking Out: Student Absences and Snow Days as Disruptions of Instructional Time," NBER Working Papers 20221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Parinduri, Rasyad, 2013. "The Effects of School Term Length on Education and Earnings: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," MPRA Paper 46158, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Battistin, Erich & Meroni, Elena Claudia, 2013. "Should We Increase Instruction Time in Low Achieving Schools? Evidence from Southern Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 7437, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Torberg Falch & Ole Henning Nyhus & Bjarne Strom, 2013. "Causal effects of mathematics," Working Paper Series 15013, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

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