TY - JOUR
AU - Clotfelter,Charles T.
AU - Ladd,Helen F.
AU - Vigdor,Jacob L.
TI - The Aftermath of Accelerating Algebra: Evidence from a District Policy Initiative
JF - National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series
VL - No. 18161
PY - 2012
Y2 - June 2012
DO - 10.3386/w18161
UR - http://www.nber.org/papers/w18161
L1 - http://www.nber.org/papers/w18161.pdf
N1 - Author contact info:
Charles T. Clotfelter
Sanford Institute of Public Policy
Duke University
Box 90245
Durham, NC 27708
Tel: 919/613-7361
E-Mail: charles.clotfelter@duke.edu
Helen Ladd
Sanford School of Public Policy
Box 90245 Duke University
Durham, NC 27708
Tel: 919-613-7352
Fax: 919-681-8288
E-Mail: hladd@duke.edu
Jacob L. Vigdor
Evans School of Public Affairs
University of Washington
Box 353055
Seattle, WA 98195
Tel: 206/616-4436
Fax: 206/543-1096
E-Mail: jvigdor@uw.edu
AB - In 2002/03, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina initiated a broad program of accelerating entry into algebra coursework. The proportion of moderately-performing students taking algebra in 8th grade increased from half to 85%, then reverted to baseline levels, in the span of just five years. We use this policy-induced variation to infer the impact of accelerated entry into algebra on student performance in math courses as students progress through high school. Students affected by the acceleration initiative scored significantly lower on end-of-course tests in Algebra I, and were either significantly less likely or no more likely to pass standard follow-up courses, Geometry and Algebra II, on a college-preparatory timetable. Although we also find that the district assigned teachers with weaker qualifications to Algebra I classes in the first year of the acceleration, this reduction in teacher quality accounts for only a small portion of the overall effect.
ER -