The effects of accelerating the school curriculum on student outcomes

Roxanne Korthals

Research output: Working paperProfessional

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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.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda
Number003

JEL classifications

  • i20 - Education and Research Institutions: General
  • i21 - Analysis of Education

Keywords

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

Cite this

Korthals, R. (2017). The effects of accelerating the school curriculum on student outcomes. Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics. GSBE Research Memoranda, No. 003 https://doi.org/10.26481/umagsb.2017003