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Objective course placement and college readiness: Evidence from targeted middle school math acceleration

Author

Listed:
  • Dougherty, Shaun M.
  • Goodman, Joshua S.
  • Hill, Darryl V.
  • Litke, Erica G.
  • Page, Lindsay C.

Abstract

Advanced math coursework can affect college and labor market outcomes, yet discretionary placement policies can lead to differential access at key points in the college preparatory pipeline. We examine a targeted approach to course assignment that uses prior test scores to identify middle school students deemed qualified for a college preparatory math sequence. Accelerated math placement of relatively low-skilled middle schoolers increases the fraction later enrolling in Precalculus by one-seventh, and by over one-third for female and non-low income students. Acceleration increases college readiness and intentions to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Course placement rules based on objective measures can identify students capable of completing rigorous coursework but whom discretionary systems might overlook.

Suggested Citation

  • Dougherty, Shaun M. & Goodman, Joshua S. & Hill, Darryl V. & Litke, Erica G. & Page, Lindsay C., 2017. "Objective course placement and college readiness: Evidence from targeted middle school math acceleration," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 141-161.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:141-161
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.04.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Esteban Aucejo & Jonathan James, 2016. "The Path to College Education: Are Verbal Skills More Important than Math Skills?," Working Papers 1602, California Polytechnic State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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