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Combination classes and educational achievement

  • Thomas, Jaime L.
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    Using the ECLS-K and considering first graders in single-grade and K–1 and 1–2 combination classes, I discuss the mechanisms underlying the combination-class effect and address the systematic school-, teacher-, and student-level differences that confound estimates of this effect. I find evidence for positive selection into 1–2 classes, but using a rich set of control variables, find no relationship between class type and student achievement in first grade within schools, and no difference in overall first-grade achievement between single-grade and combination schools in a matched school sample. The results I present suggest that first graders are not harmed by being in a combination class or by their schools offering combination classes. As long as other stakeholders such as parents, teachers, and students in other grades are not made worse off, these results suggest that offering combination classes may be a Pareto-improving option for school administrators.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775712000908
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1058-1066

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:1058-1066
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    1. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
    2. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2008. "The Lengthening of Childhood," NBER Working Papers 14124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
    4. David Sims, 2008. "A strategic response to class size reduction: Combination classes and student achievement in California," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 457-478.
    5. Graves, Jennifer, 2010. "The academic impact of multi-track year-round school calendars: A response to school overcrowding," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 378-391, May.
    6. Cho, Hyunkuk & Glewwe, Paul & Whitler, Melissa, 2012. "Do reductions in class size raise students’ test scores? Evidence from population variation in Minnesota's elementary schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 77-95.
    7. Graves, Jennifer, 2011. "Effects of year-round schooling on disadvantaged students and the distribution of standardized test performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1281-1305.
    8. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects Of Class Size On Student Achievement: New Evidence From Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285, November.
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