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Ability-Tracking, Instructional Time, and Better Pedagogy: The Effect of Double-Dose Algebra on Student Achievement

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  • Kalena E. Cortes
  • Joshua S. Goodman

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on tracking by studying an innovative curriculum implemented by Chicago Public Schools (CPS). In 2003, CPS enacted a double-dose algebra policy requiring 9th grade students with 8th grade math scores below the national median to take two periods of algebra instead of one. This policy led schools to sort students into algebra classes by math ability, so that tracking increased in all algebra classes. We show that double-dosed students are exposed to a much lower-skilled group of peers in their algebra classes but nonetheless benefit substantially from the additional instructional time and improved pedagogy.

Suggested Citation

  • Kalena E. Cortes & Joshua S. Goodman, 2014. "Ability-Tracking, Instructional Time, and Better Pedagogy: The Effect of Double-Dose Algebra on Student Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 400-405, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:5:p:400-405
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.400
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kalena E. Cortes & Joshua S. Goodman & Takako Nomi, 2015. "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 108-158.
    3. repec:ces:ifobei:76 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:rnp:ecopol:ep1702 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gerhardts, Ilka & Sunde, Uwe & Zierow, Larissa, 2016. "Denominational Schools and Returns to Education - Gender Socialization in Multigrade Classrooms?," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145762, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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