IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/restat/v86y2004i1p226-244.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Brian A. Jacob

    (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University)

  • Lars Lefgren

    (Brigham Young University)

Abstract

As standards and accountability have become increasingly prominent features of the educational landscape, educators have relied more on remedial programs such as summer school and grade retention to help low-achieving students meet minimum academic standards. Yet the evidence on the effectiveness of such programs is mixed, and prior research suffers from selection bias. However, recent school reform efforts in Chicago provide an opportunity to examine the causal impact of these remedial education programs. In 1996, the Chicago Public Schools instituted an accountability policy that tied summer school and promotional decisions to performance on standardized tests, which resulted in a highly nonlinear relationship between current achievement and the probability of attending summer school or being retained. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that the net effect of these programs was to substantially increase academic achievement among third-graders, but not sixth-graders. In addition, contrary to conventional wisdom and prior research, we find that retention increases achievement for third-grade students and has little effect on math achievement for sixth-grade students. 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 226-244, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:1:p:226-244
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/003465304323023778
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    2. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
    3. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285.
    4. Topel, Robert, 1999. "Labor markets and economic growth," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 44, pages 2943-2984, Elsevier.
    5. Hanushek, Eric A., 2006. "School Resources," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 14, pages 865-908, Elsevier.
    6. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2001. "The effect of grade retention on educational and labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 563-576, December.
    7. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    8. Jinyong Hahn & Petra Todd & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 1999. "Evaluating the Effect of an Antidiscrimination Law Using a Regression-Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 7131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Does Money Matter? Regression-Discontinuity Estimates from Education Finance Reform in Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 8269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hægeland, Torbjørn & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2012. "Pennies from heaven? Using exogenous tax variation to identify effects of school resources on pupil achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 601-614.
    2. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    3. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2009. "The Effect of Grade Retention on High School Completion," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 33-58, July.
    4. Sansani, Shahar, 2011. "The effects of school quality on long-term health," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1320-1333.
    5. Wo[ss]mann, Ludger & West, Martin, 2006. "Class-size effects in school systems around the world: Evidence from between-grade variation in TIMSS," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 695-736, April.
    6. Ma, Lingjie & Koenker, Roger, 2006. "Quantile regression methods for recursive structural equation models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 134(2), pages 471-506, October.
    7. Corak, Miles & Lauzon, Darren, 2009. "Differences in the distribution of high school achievement: The role of class-size and time-in-term," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 189-198, April.
    8. Wößmann, Ludger, 2001. "New Evidence on the Missing Resource-Performance Link in Education," Kiel Working Papers 1051, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Nadir Altinok & Geeta Kingdon, 2012. "New Evidence on Class Size Effects: A Pupil Fixed Effects Approach," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(2), pages 203-234, April.
    10. Gigliotti, Philip & Sorensen, Lucy C., 2018. "Educational resources and student achievement: Evidence from the Save Harmless provision in New York State," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 167-182.
    11. Margaret Stevens & Kathryn Graddy, 2003. "The Impact of School Inputs on Student Performance: An Empirical Study of Private Schools in the United Kingdom," Economics Series Working Papers 146, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas & Freddy A. Pinzón-Puerto & María Alejandra Ruiz-Sánchez, 2020. "A Comprehensive History of Regression Discontinuity Designs: An Empirical Survey of the last 60 Years," Borradores de Economia 1112, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    13. 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.
    14. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2004. "The Impact of Teacher Training on Student Achievement: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from School Reform Efforts in Chicago," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    15. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally & Martina Viarengo, 2018. "Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(5), pages 1618-1668.
    16. Graddy, Kathryn & Stevens, Margaret, 2003. "The Impact of School Inputs on Student Performance: An Empirical Study of Private Schools in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3776, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Han, Joseph & Ryu, Keunkwan, 2017. "Effects of class size reduction in upper grades: Evidence from Seoul, Korea," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 68-85.
    18. Ponce, Juan & Bedi, Arjun S., 2010. "The impact of a cash transfer program on cognitive achievement: The Bono de Desarrollo Humano of Ecuador," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 116-125, February.
    19. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 34-63, February.
    20. Justman, Moshe, 2018. "Randomized controlled trials informing public policy: Lessons from project STAR and class size reduction," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 167-174.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:1:p:226-244. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ann Olson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.