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

  • Kalena Cortes
  • Joshua Goodman
  • Takako Nomi

We study an intensive math instruction policy that assigned low-skilled 9th 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 under-predict 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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20211.

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Date of creation: Jun 2014
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Publication status: published as 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:nbr:nberwo:20211
Note: ED LS
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