Panel: The Effects of School Curriculum Reforms On Student Achievement and Attainment

Friday, November 9, 2012: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
International A (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizers:  Kalena Cortes, Texas A&M University
Moderators:  Phil Gleason, Mathematica Policy Research and Rajeev Darolia, University of Missouri
Chairs:  Mark Long, University of Washington

A sharp accountability focus on student test scores in just a few subjects—chiefly math and reading—has led American public schools to rethink the way they allocate scarce resources across subjects. One such resource is students’ time in class which, traditionally, has been divided rather evenly across subjects, but is increasingly weighted toward tested subjects. This panel represents four distinct curriculum interventions in Chicago (Cortes, Goodman, Nomi; and Dougherty), Miami (Taylor), Boston (Checkoway et. al.) that increase instructional time in a given subject (math or reading) while holding the length of the day constant. A complete picture of any given allocation’s consequences must account for gains and losses across all subjects. And ultimately the optimal allocation depends on the (student) outcome of interest, and the extent substitutability between subjects. These papers also analyze spill-over effects of these curriculum interventions on subject-related areas of study (science and social studies).

Is More Always Better? Final Outcome Findings from a Multi-Year Study of the Massachussetts Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Initiative
Melissa Velez1, Amy Checkoway2 and Tamara Linkow1, (1)Abt Associates, (2)Abt Associates, Inc.

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