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ERIC Number: EJ1058626
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0162-3737
The Effect of Primary School Size on Academic Achievement
Gershenson, Seth; Langbein, Laura
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v37 n1 suppl p135S-155S May 2015
Evidence on optimal school size is mixed. We estimate the effect of transitory changes in school size on the academic achievement of fourth-and fifth-grade students in North Carolina using student-level longitudinal administrative data. Estimates of value-added models that condition on school-specific linear time trends and a variety of teacher-by-school, student, and school-by-year fixed effects suggest that, on average, there is no causal relationship between school size and academic performance. However, two subgroups of interest are significantly harmed by school size: socioeconomically disadvantaged students and students with learning disabilities. The largest effects are observed among students with learning disabilities: A 10-student increase in grade size is found to decrease their math and reading achievement by about 0.015 test-score standard deviations.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina