Improving the Targeting of Treatment: Evidence from College Remediation
At an annual cost of roughly $7 billion nationally, remedial coursework is one of the single largest interventions intended to improve outcomes for underprepared college students. But like a costly medical treatment with non-trivial side effects, the value of remediation overall depends upon whether those most likely to benefit can be identified in advance. Our analysis uses administrative data and a rich predictive model to examine the accuracy of remedial screening tests, either instead of or in addition to using high school transcript data to determine remedial assignment. We find that roughly one in four test-takers in math and one in three test-takers in English are severely mis-assigned under current test-based policies, with mis-assignments to remediation much more common than mis-assignments to college-level coursework. We find that using high school transcript information--either instead of or in addition to test scores--could significantly reduce the prevalence of assignment errors. Further, we find that the choice of screening device has significant implications for the racial and gender composition of both remedial and college-level courses. Finally, we find that if institutions took account of students' high school performance, they could remediate substantially fewer students without lowering success rates in college-level courses.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Improving the Targeting of Treatment Evidence From College Remediation Judith Scott-Clayton Peter M. Crosta Teachers College, Columbia University Clive R. Belfield The City University of New York Published online before print January 28, 2014, doi: 10.3102/0162373713517935 EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS September 2014 vol. 36 no. 3 371-393|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David H. Autor & David Scarborough, 2008. "Does Job Testing Harm Minority Workers? Evidence from Retail Establishments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 219-277.
- Judith Scott-Clayton & Olga Rodriguez, 2012. "Development, Discouragement, or Diversion? New Evidence on the Effects of College Remediation," NBER Working Papers 18328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rothstein, J.M.Jesse M., 2004. "College performance predictions and the SAT," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 297-317.
- David J. Zimmerman, 2003.
"Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 9-23, February.
- Zimmerman, David J., 1999. "Peer Effects in Academic Outcomes: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-52, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Paco Martorell & Isaac McFarlin, 2011. "Help or Hindrance? The Effects of College Remediation on Academic and Labor Market Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 436-454, May.
- Bailey, Thomas & Jeong, Dong Wook & Cho, Sung-Woo, 2010. "Referral, enrollment, and completion in developmental education sequences in community colleges," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 255-270, April.
- Eric P. Bettinger & Brent J. Evans & Devin G. Pope, 2013.
"Improving College Performance and Retention the Easy Way: Unpacking the ACT Exam,"
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 26-52, May.
- Eric P. Bettinger & Brent J. Evans & Devin G. Pope, 2011. "Improving College Performance and Retention the Easy Way: Unpacking the ACT Exam," NBER Working Papers 17119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2008.
"Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement,"
NBER Working Papers
14032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Scott E. Carrell & Richard L. Fullerton & James E. West, 2009. "Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 439-464, 07.
- Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005.
"Addressing the Needs of Under-Prepared Students in Higher Education: Does College Remediation Work?,"
NBER Working Papers
11325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2009. "Addressing the Needs of Underprepared Students in Higher Education: Does College Remediation Work?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
- Juan Carlos Calcagno & Bridget Terry Long, 2008. "The Impact of Postsecondary Remediation Using a Regression Discontinuity Approach: Addressing Endogenous Sorting and Noncompliance," NBER Working Papers 14194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18457. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.