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Title:The impact of alternative grade configurations on student outcomes through middle and high school PDF Logo
Authors:Schwerdt, Guido
West, Martin R.
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper: Economics of Education 3530
Abstract:We use statewide administrative data from Florida to estimate the impact of attending public schools with different grade configurations on student achievement through grade 10. To identify the causal effect of structural school transitions, we use student fixed effects and instrument for middle and high school attendance based on the terminal grade of the school attended in grades 3 and 6, respectively. Consistent with recent evidence from other settings, we find that students moving from elementary to middle school in grade 6 or 7 suffer a sharp drop in student achievement in the transition year. We confirm that these achievement drops occur in nonurban areas and persist through grade 10, by which time most students have transitioned into high school. We also find that middle school entry increases student absences and is associated with higher grade 10 dropout rates. Transitions to high school in grade nine cause a smaller one-time drop in achievement but do not alter students' performance trajectories.
Subjects:educational production
public schools
grade configuration
middle schools
high schools
JEL:H52
I21
I28
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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