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The academic impact of multi-track year-round school calendars: A response to school overcrowding

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  • Graves, Jennifer

Abstract

Using detailed longitudinal data for the state of California, this paper studies the effect of multi-track year-round school calendars on academic performance. This particular type of year-round calendar allows for schools to house more students within the same facility than other calendars and is often motivated by its potential to alleviate overcrowding as well as to save costs relative to new school construction. This paper finds that these financial savings "come at a cost" in terms of the quality of education produced, as measured by a school's national percentile rank on standardized tests. Being on a multi-track year-round calendar results in a drop of 1-2 percentile points relative to a traditional calendar in national rank on reading, math and language scores. The policy implications are especially relevant to the current condition of the US education system, where many states are facing overcrowding problems and have implemented or are seriously considering implementation of multi-track year-round calendars as a remedy.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:67:y:2010:i:3:p:378-391
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G. & Branch, Gregory F., 2007. "Charter school quality and parental decision making with school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 823-848, June.
    2. Daneshvary, Nasser & Clauretie, Terrence M., 2001. "Efficiency and costs in education: year-round versus traditional schedules," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 279-287, June.
    3. Kenny, Lawrence W., 1982. "Economies of scale in schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, February.
    4. Booker, Kevin & Gilpatric, Scott M. & Gronberg, Timothy & Jansen, Dennis, 2007. "The impact of charter school attendance on student performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 849-876, June.
    5. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    6. Figlio, David N. & Kenny, Lawrence W., 2007. "Individual teacher incentives and student performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 901-914, June.
    7. Austan Goolsbee & Jonathan Guryan, 2006. "The Impact of Internet Subsidies in Public Schools," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 336-347, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. D. Mark Anderson & Mary Beth Walker, 2015. "Does Shortening the School Week Impact Student Performance? Evidence from the Four-Day School Week," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 314-349, July.
    2. Depro, Brooks & Rouse, Kathryn, 2015. "The effect of multi-track year-round academic calendars on property values: Evidence from district imposed school calendar conversions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 157-171.
    3. Graves, Jennifer, 2013. "School calendars, child care availability and maternal employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 57-70.
    4. McMullen, Steven C. & Rouse, Kathryn E., 2012. "School crowding, year-round schooling, and mobile classroom use: Evidence from North Carolina," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 812-823.
    5. Dills, Angela & Hernández-Julián, Rey & Rotthoff, Kurt W., 2016. "Knowledge decay between semesters," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 63-74.
    6. Thomas, Jaime L., 2012. "Combination classes and educational achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1058-1066.
    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. Jennifer Graves & Steven McMullen & Kathryn Rouse, 2013. "Multi-Track Year-Round Schooling as Cost Saving Reform: Not Just a Matter of Time," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(3), pages 300-315, July.

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