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Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance

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Author Info

  • Marcotte, Dave E.

    ()
    (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

  • Hemelt, Steven W.

    ()
    (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 3rd, 5th and 8th 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, and 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 (5), the number of 3rd 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 5th and 8th grade. Combining our estimates with actual patterns of unscheduled closings in the last 3 years, we find that more than half of schools failing to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) in 3rd grade math or reading, required under No Child Left Behind, would have met AYP if schools had been open on all scheduled days.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2923.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Education Finance and Policy, 2008, 3 (3), 316-338
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2923

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Keywords: accountability; education; school resources; testing;

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References

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  1. Ozkan Eren & Daniel Millimet, 2007. "Time to learn? The organizational structure of schools and student achievement," Empirical Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 301-332, May.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "Publicly Provided Education," NBER Working Papers 8799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
  4. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  5. 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.
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  7. Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 2003. "The Impact of Length of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence from the German Short School Year," NBER Working Papers 9964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, 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, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 629-640, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Cortes, Kalena & Goodman, Joshua & Nomi, Takako, 2013. "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp13-009, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Parinduri, Rasyad A., 2014. "Do children spend too much time in schools? Evidence from a longer school year in Indonesia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 89-104.
  3. Lavy, Victor, 2012. "Expanding School Resources and Increasing Time on Task: Effects of a Policy Experiment in Israel on Student Academic Achievement and Behaviour," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 95, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  4. Hansen, Benjamin & Lang, Matthew, 2011. "Back to school blues: Seasonality of youth suicide and the academic calendar," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 850-861, October.
  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. 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.
  7. 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, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 812-823.
  8. 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).
  9. Maria Fitzpatrick & David Grissmer & Sarah Hastedt, 2009. "What a Differense a Day Makes: Estimating Daily Learning Gains During Kindergarten and First Grade Using a Natural Experiment," Discussion Papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 08-050, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  10. Steven G. Rivkin & Jeffrey C. Schiman, 2013. "Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 19464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Torberg Falch & Ole Henning Nyhus & Bjarne Strom, 2013. "Causal effects of mathematics," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology 15013, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  12. Joshua Goodman, 1969. "Flaking Out: Student Absences and Snow Days as Disruptions of Instructional Time," Working Paper 141961, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  13. 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, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 353-361.
  14. Asadullah, M. Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2011. "Poisoning the mind: Arsenic contamination of drinking water wells and children's educational achievement in rural Bangladesh," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 873-888, October.

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