A Non-Experimental Evaluation of Curricular Effectiveness in Math

48 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2009 Last revised: 7 May 2010

See all articles by Rachana R. Bhatt

Rachana R. Bhatt

Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Economics

Cory Koedel

University of Missouri - Economics

Date Written: May 2010

Abstract

We use non-experimental data from a large panel of schools and districts in Indiana to evaluate the impacts of math curricula on student achievement. Using matching methods, we obtain causal estimates of curriculum effects at just a fraction of what it would cost to produce experimental estimates.

Furthermore, external validity concerns that are particularly cogent in experimental curricular evaluations suggest that our non-experimental estimates may be preferred. In the short term, we find large differences in effectiveness across some math curricula. However, as with many other educational inputs, the effects of math curricula do not persist over time. Across curriculum adoption cycles, publishers that produce less effective curricula in one cycle do not lose market share in the next cycle. One explanation for this result is the dearth of information available to administrators about curricular effectiveness.

Suggested Citation

Bhatt, Rachana R. and Koedel, Cory, A Non-Experimental Evaluation of Curricular Effectiveness in Math (May 2010). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 09-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1494345 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1494345

Rachana R. Bhatt (Contact Author)

Georgia State University, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

Cory Koedel

University of Missouri - Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

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