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The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR

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Author Info

  • Alan Krueger
  • Diane Whitmore

Abstract

This paper provides a long-term follow-up of students who participated in the Tennessee STAR experiment. The Tennessee STAR experiment randomly assigned 11,600 elementary school students and their teachers to a small class, regular-size class or regular-size class with a teacher-aide. The experiment began with the wave of students who entered kindergarten in 1985, and lasted for four years. After the third grade, all students returned to regular-size classes. We analyze the effect of past attendance in a small class on standardized test scores through the eighth grade, on whether students took the ACT or SAT college entrance exam, and on how they performed on the ACT or SAT exam. The results suggest that attending a small class in the early grades is associated with somewhat higher performance on standardized test, and an increase in the likelihood that students take a college-entrance exam, especially among minority students. Most significantly, being assigned to a small class appears to have narrowed the black-white gap in college-test taking by 54 percent. A calculation is presented suggesting that the internal rate of return from reducing class size from 22 to 15 students is 5.5 percent.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 806.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:dsp010v838058q

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Postal: Firestone Library, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098
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Fax: 609 258-2907
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Web page: http://www.irs.princeton.edu/
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Related research

Keywords: class size; STAR experiment; college-entrance test;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Tres puntos de partida para entender la calidad en la educación
    by Rosangela Bando in Hacia el desarrollo efectivo on 2012-06-27 11:58:28
  2. Development that Works: Three starting points to understand education quality
    by Rosangela Bando in Eval Central on 2012-06-27 11:58:50
  3. Mindre klasser och bra lärare betalar sig självt
    by Roger Mörtvik in Utredarna on 2011-09-23 12:58:02
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