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Revisiting Grade Retention: An Evaluation of Florida's Test-Based Promotion Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Jay P. Greene

    (Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas)

  • Marcus A. Winters

    () (Department of Economics, University of Arkansas)

Abstract

In 2002, Florida adopted a test-based promotion policy in the third grade in an attempt to end social promotion. Similar policies are currently operating in Texas, New York City, and Chicago and affect at least 17 percent of public school students nationwide. Using individual-level data on the universe of public school students in Florida, we analyze the impact of grade retention on student proficiency in reading one and two years after the retention decision. We use an instrumental variable (IV) approach made available by the relatively objective nature of Florida's policy. Our findings suggest that retained students slightly outperformed socially promoted students in reading in the first year after retention, and these gains increased substantially in the second year. Results were robust across two distinct IV comparisons: an across-year approach comparing students who were essentially separated by the year in which they happened to have been born, and a regression discontinuity design. © 2007 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • Jay P. Greene & Marcus A. Winters, 2007. "Revisiting Grade Retention: An Evaluation of Florida's Test-Based Promotion Policy," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 319-340, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:2:y:2007:i:4:p:319-340
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    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/edfp.2007.2.4.319
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:tpr:edfpol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:p:312-341 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pallas, Aaron M., 2010. "Meeting the basic educational needs of children and youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1199-1210, September.
    3. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. repec:eee:pubeco:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:9-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:pubeco:v:152:y:2017:i:c:p:154-169 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Umut Ozek, 2015. "Hold Back To Move Forward? Early Grade Retention And Student Misbehavior," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 350-377, July.
    7. Jane Cooley Fruehwirth & Salvador Navarro & Yuya Takahashi, 2016. "How the Timing of Grade Retention Affects Outcomes: Identification and Estimation of Time-Varying Treatment Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 979-1021.
    8. Schwerdt, Guido & West, Martin R. & Winters, Marcus A., 2017. "The effects of test-based retention on student outcomes over time: Regression discontinuity evidence from Florida," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 154-169.
    9. Tafreschi, Darjusch & Thiemann, Petra, 2016. "Doing it twice, getting it right? The effects of grade retention and course repetition in higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 198-219.
    10. Greene, Jay P. & Winters, Marcus A., 2009. "The effects of exemptions to Florida's test-based promotion policy: Who is retained?: Who benefits academically?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 135-142, February.
    11. Eren, Ozkan & Depew, Briggs & Barnes, Stephen, 2017. "Test-based promotion policies, dropping out, and juvenile crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 9-31.
    12. Van Klaveren, C. & De Wolf, I., 2013. "Systematic Reviews In Education Research: When Do Effect Studies Provide Evidence?," Working Papers 46, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    grade retention; test-based promotion; Florida;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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