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Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement

  • Steven G. Rivkin
  • Jeffrey C. Schiman

Many countries, American jurisdictions and charter schools have recently embraced longer school days or more time devoted to core academic classes. Recent research generally supports the notion that additional time raises achievement, though difficulties isolating an exogenous source of variation raise questions about the strength of much of the evidence. Moreover, it seems likely that the magnitude of any causal link between achievement and instruction time depends upon the quality of instruction, the classroom environment, and the rate at which students translate classroom time into added knowledge. In this paper we use panel data methods to investigate the pattern of instruction time effects in the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data. The empirical analysis shows that achievement increases with instruction time and that the increase varies by both amount of time and classroom environment. These results indicate that school circumstances are important determinants of the likely benefits and desirability of increased instruction time.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19464.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19464
Note: CH ED LS
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  1. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214, February.
  2. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kuehn, Zoe & Landeras, Pedro, 2012. "Study Time and Scholarly Achievement in PISA," Working Papers 2012-02, FEDEA.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & Susan M. Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2010. "Inputs and Impacts in Charter Schools: KIPP Lynn," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 239-43, May.
  5. Dennis Coates, 2003. "Education production functions using instructional time as an input," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 273-292.
  6. Marcotte, Dave E. & Hemelt, Steven W., 2007. "Unscheduled School Closings and Student Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 2923, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Philipp Mandel & Bernd Süssmuth, 2011. "Total Instructional Time Exposure and Student Achievement: An Extreme Bounds Analysis Based on German State-Level Variation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3580, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren & David Sims, 2008. "The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains," NBER Working Papers 14065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marcotte, Dave E., 2007. "Schooling and test scores: A mother-natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 629-640, October.
  10. Christian Wiermann, 2005. "Class Size, Instruction Time and Central Exit Examinations : disentangling the Relative Contributions to Scholastic Achievement," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 05-04, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
  11. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
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