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

63 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2014

See all articles by Kalena E. Cortes

Kalena E. Cortes

Texas A&M University - George Bush School of Government and Public Service; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Joshua Goodman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Takako Nomi

Saint Louis University - College of Education and Public Service

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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.

Keywords: double-dose algebra, instructional time, peer effects, math curriculum, educational attainment, high school graduation, college enrollment

JEL Classification: I20, I21, I24, J15, J24

Suggested Citation

Cortes, Kalena E. and Goodman, Joshua and Nomi, Takako, Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8734. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2543929

Kalena E. Cortes (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - George Bush School of Government and Public Service ( email )

TAMU 4220
1004 George Bush Dr West
College Station, TX 77843
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Joshua Goodman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/joshua-goodman/

Takako Nomi

Saint Louis University - College of Education and Public Service ( email )

3500 Lindell Blvd
Fitzgerald Hall
St. Louis, MO 63103
United States
314-977-2495 (Phone)

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