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The effects of accelerating the school curriculum on student outcomes

Listed author(s):
  • Korthals, Roxanne

    (General Economics 2 (Macro))

The aim of this paper is to estimate the causal effects of an accelerated curriculum, in which students progress through the course material faster, on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. I employ two methods: First, I make use of the cohorts before and after the introduction of the possibility to accelerate and of classes which are and which are not considered for acceleration using a Difference-in-Differences (DiD) strategy. However, it seems reasonable that the best students benefit from this policy, while it is less clear that the less able students would benefit. Therefore I also employ a second method in which I only look at the effects for the marginal student. For this, I use school grades to employ a fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design (fRDD). Using both methods, I find that after one year the students who accelerated scored significantly higher on certain sub scores of the mathematics tests. I find no definitive results on non-cognitive skills: Using the DiD, I find that this positive cognitive effect is countered by lower scores on the teacher rated scores on perseverance, concentration, and conversation skills. For the marginal student, I find almost no effects on non-cognitive skills.

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File URL: https://cris.maastrichtuniversity.nl/portal/files/6359909/content
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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) in its series ROA Research Memorandum with number 001.

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Date of creation: 2017
Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2017001
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  1. 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.
  2. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
  3. Lex Borghans & Ron Diris, 2014. "Allocating Instruction Time: How Language Instruction Can Affect Multiple Skills," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 161-198.
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