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The effects of accelerating the school curriculum on student outcomes

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  • Korthals, Roxanne

    (General Economics 2 (Macro))

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Korthals, Roxanne, 2017. "The effects of accelerating the school curriculum on student outcomes," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2017001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Sarah Dahmann & Silke Anger, 2014. "The Impact of Education on Personality: Evidence from a German High School Reform," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 658, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    curriculum; instruction hours; student performance; non-cognitive skills;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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