District level mandates and high school students' understanding of economics
This paper investigates the impact of district-level course mandates on students’ end-of-course economic understanding. Data were collected from Mississippi high school students studying economics in three different course environments. Students were either enrolled in a one semester economics course required for graduation, enrolled in a one semester course taken as an elective, or studying economics as an infusion subject within a United States history course. A regression-based selection model was estimated to control for students’ demographic characteristics, educational attributes, market experiences, and school attributes. The results indicated that student test scores were significantly less for those students studying economics as an infusion subject and when taking a mandated stand-alone course, ceteris paribus. The authors conclude that course mandates may result in teacher and student issues that reduce the overall observed level of test performance.
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- William B. Walstad & Stephen Buckles, 2008. "The National Assessment of Educational Progress in Economics: Findings for General Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 541-46, May.
- William B. Walstad & Ken Rebeck, 2001. "Assessing the Economic Understanding of U.S. High School Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 452-457, May.
- Becker, William E & Walstad, William B, 1990. "Data Loss from Pretest to Posttest as a Sample Selection Problem," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(1), pages 184-88, February.
- Heckman, James J, 1979.
"Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
- William B. Walstad, 2001. "Economic Education in U.S. High Schools," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 195-210, Summer.
- Grimes, Paul W. & Millea, Meghan J., 2003. "Economic education as public policy: the determinants of state-level mandates," MPRA Paper 39884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Belfield, Clive R. & Levin, Henry M., 2004. "Should high school economics courses be compulsory?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 351-360, August.
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