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Can Tracking Raise the Test Scores of High-Ability Minority Students?

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  • David Card
  • Laura Giuliano

Abstract

We evaluate a tracking program in a large urban district where schools with at least one gifted fourth grader create a separate "gifted/high achiever" classroom. Most seats are filled by non-gifted high achievers, ranked by previous-year test scores. We study the program's effects on the high achievers using (i) a rank-based regression discontinuity design, and (ii) a between-school/cohort analysis. We find significant effects that are concentrated among black and Hispanic participants. Minorities gain 0.5 standard deviation units in fourth-grade reading and math scores, with persistent gains through sixth grade. We find no evidence of negative or positive spillovers on nonparticipants.

Suggested Citation

  • David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2016. "Can Tracking Raise the Test Scores of High-Ability Minority Students?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2783-2816, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:10:p:2783-2816
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20150484
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Barrow, Lisa & Sartain , Lauren & de la Torre, Marisa, 2016. "The Role of Selective High Schools in Equalizing Educational Outcomes: Heterogeneous Effects by Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status," Working Paper Series WP-2016-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Yu-Chin Hsu & Chung-Ming Kuan & Giorgio Teng-Yu Lo, 2017. "Quantile Treatment Effects in Regression Discontinuity Designs with Covariates," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 17-A009, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    3. João Firmino & Luís Catela Nunes & Ana Balcão Reis & Carmo Seabra, 2018. "Class composition and student achievement: Evidence from Portugal," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp624, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    4. repec:bpj:bejeap:v:17:y:2017:i:3:p:10:n:9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Marcus Roller, Daniel Steinberg, 2017. "The Distributional Effects of Early School Stratification – Non-Parametric Evidence from Germany," Diskussionsschriften credresearchpaper19, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft - CRED.
    6. David Card & Laura Giuliano, 2016. "Can Tracking Raise the Test Scores of High-Ability Minority Students?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2783-2816, October.
    7. Booij, Adam S. & Haan, Ferry & Plug, Erik, 2017. "Can Gifted and Talented Education Raise the Academic Achievement of All High-Achieving Students?," IZA Discussion Papers 10836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:eee:ecolet:v:159:y:2017:i:c:p:173-176 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Roller, Marcus & Steinberg, Daniel, 2017. "The Distributional Effects of Early School Stratification - Non-Parametric Evidence from Germany," Working papers 2017/20, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    10. Kiss David, 2017. "A Model about the Impact of Ability Grouping on Student Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(3), pages 1-10, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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