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