NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Objective Course Placement and College Readiness: Evidence from Targeted Middle School Math Acceleration

Shaun Dougherty, Joshua Goodman, Darryl Hill, Erica Litke, Lindsay C. Page

NBER Working Paper No. 21395
Issued in July 2015, Revised in April 2017
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Labor Studies

Advanced math coursework can affect college and labor market outcomes, yet discretionary placement policies can lead to differential access at key points in the college preparatory pipeline. We examine a targeted approach to course assignment that uses prior test scores to identify middle school students deemed qualified for a college preparatory math sequence. Accelerated math placement of relatively low-skilled middle schoolers increases the fraction later enrolling in Precalculus by one-seventh, and by over one-third for female and non-low income students. Acceleration increases college readiness and intentions to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Course placement rules based on objective measures can identify students capable of completing rigorous coursework but whom discretionary systems might overlook.

download in pdf format
   (310 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21395

Published: Dougherty, Shaun M. & Goodman, Joshua S. & Hill, Darryl V. & Litke, Erica G. & Page, Lindsay C., 2017. "Objective course placement and college readiness: Evidence from targeted middle school math acceleration," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 141-161. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Nagler, Piopiunik, and West w21393 Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness
Scheuer and Werning w21323 The Taxation of Superstars
Clotfelter, Ladd, and Vigdor w18161 The Aftermath of Accelerating Algebra: Evidence from a District Policy Initiative
Reinhart and Santos w21333 From Financial Repression to External Distress: The Case of Venezuela
Card, Cardoso, and Kline w21403 Bargaining, Sorting, and the Gender Wage Gap: Quantifying the Impact of Firms on the Relative Pay of Women
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us