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

Citation:

CORTES, KALENA, Joshua Goodman, and TAKAKO NOMI. 2015. “Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra.” Journal of Human Resources 50 (1): 108-158. Copy at http://j.mp/14ym2zD
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Abstract:

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.

Publisher's Version

Working Paper Series: HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP13-009
Last updated on 02/07/2015