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How Consistent Are Class Size Effects?

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  • Konstantopoulos, Spyros

    () (Michigan State University)

Abstract

Evidence from Project STAR has suggested that on average small classes increase student achievement. However, thus far researchers have focused on computing mean differences in student achievement between smaller and larger classes. In this study I focus on the distribution of the small class effects at the school level and compute the inconsistency of the treatment effects across schools. I use data from Project STAR and estimated small class effects for each school on mathematics and reading scores from kindergarten through third grade. The results revealed that school-specific small class effects are both positive and negative and that although students benefit considerably from being in small classes in some schools, in other schools being in small classes is a disadvantage. Small class effects were inconsistent and varied significantly across schools. Full time teacher aide effects were also inconsistent across schools and in some schools students benefit considerably from being in regular classes with a full time aide, while in other schools being in these classes is a disadvantage.

Suggested Citation

  • Konstantopoulos, Spyros, 2009. "How Consistent Are Class Size Effects?," IZA Discussion Papers 4566, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4566
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    small classes; treatment variability; meta-analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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