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Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra

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  • Kalena E. Cortes
  • Joshua S. Goodman
  • Takako Nomi

Abstract

We study an intensive math instruction policy that assigned low-skilled ninth graders to an algebra course that doubled instructional time, altered peer composition and emphasized problem solving skills. A regression discontinuity design shows substantial positive impacts of double-dose algebra on credits earned, test scores, high school graduation, and college enrollment rates. Test score effects underpredict attainment effects, highlighting the importance of long-run evaluation of such a policy. Perhaps because the intervention focused on verbal exposition of mathematical concepts, the impact was largest for students with below-average reading skills, emphasizing the need to target interventions toward appropriately skilled students.

Suggested Citation

  • Kalena E. Cortes & Joshua S. Goodman & Takako Nomi, 2015. "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 108-158.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:50:y:2015:i:1:p:108-158
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    References listed on IDEAS

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