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What a Differense a Day Makes: Estimating Daily Learning Gains During Kindergarten and First Grade Using a Natural Experiment

  • Maria Fitzpatrick

    ()

    (Stanford University)

  • David Grissmer

    (University of Virginia)

  • Sarah Hastedt

    (University of Virginia)

Knowing whether time spent in formal schooling increases student achievement, and by how much, is important for policymakers interested in determining efficient use of resources. Using the ECLS-K, we exploit quasi-randomness in the timing of assessment dates to examine this question. Conservative estimates suggest a year of school results in gains of about one standard deviation above normal developmental gains in both reading and math test scores. The results are statistically significant and extremely robust to specification choice, supporting quasi-randomness of test dates. Estimates of skill accumulation due to formal schooling do not vary based on socioeconomic characteristics.

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File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/08-050.pdf
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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-050.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:08-050
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