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The Impact of Alternative Grade Configurations on Student Outcomes through Middle and High School

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Author Info

  • Schwerdt, Guido

    ()
    (University of Konstanz)

  • West, Martin R.

    ()
    (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Abstract

We use statewide administrative data from Florida to estimate the impact of attending public schools with different grade configurations on student achievement through grade 10. Based on an instrumental variable estimation strategy, we find that students moving from elementary to middle school suffer a sharp drop in student achievement in the transition year. These achievement drops persist through grade 10. We also find that middle school entry increases student absences and is associated with higher grade 10 dropout rates. Transitions to high school in grade nine cause a smaller one-time drop in achievement but do not alter students' performance trajectories.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6208.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2013, 97 (C), 308-326
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6208

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Keywords: high schools; grade configuration; public schools; educational production; middle schools;

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References

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  1. Cecilia Elena Rouse & Jane Hannaway & Dan Goldhaber & David Figlio, 2007. "Feeling the Florida Heat? How Low-Performing Schools Respond to Voucher and Accountability Pressure," NBER Working Papers 13681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lisa Sanbonmatsu & Jeffrey R. Kling & Greg J. Duncan & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2006. "Neighborhoods and Academic Achievement: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," NBER Working Papers 11909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," NBER Working Papers 10777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Discussion Papers, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 09-013, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Philip J. Cook & Robert MacCoun & Clara Muschkin & Jacob Vigdor, 2008. "The negative impacts of starting middle school in sixth grade," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 104-121.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kelly Bedard & Chau Do, 2005. "Are Middle Schools More Effective?: The Impact of School Structure on Student Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  8. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Generalizations about Using Value-Added Measures of Teacher Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 267-71, May.
  9. Rockoff, Jonah E. & Lockwood, Benjamin B., 2010. "Stuck in the middle: Impacts of grade configuration in public schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1051-1061, December.
  10. Tim R. Sass, 2006. "Charter Schools and Student Achievement in Florida," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-122, January.
  11. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Guido Schwerdt & Martin R. West, 2013. "The Effects of Test-based Retention on Student Outcomes over Time: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Florida," CESifo Working Paper Series 4203, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Goodman, Joshua, 2012. "Gold Standards?: State Standards Reform and Student Achievement," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp12-031, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00842265 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Richard J. Murnane, 2013. "U.S High School Graduation Rates: Patterns and Explanations," NBER Working Papers 18701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Son Thierry Ly & Arnaud Riegert, 2013. "Persistent Classmates: How Familiarity with Peers Protects from Disruptive School Transitions," PSE Working Papers halshs-00842265, HAL.

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