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ERIC Number: ED570301
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 155
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3398-0291-6
Three Essays on Estimating the Effects of School and Student Improvement Interventions
Saw, Guan
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
This dissertation consists of three chapters that examine the effects of school and students improvement interventions. The first chapter investigates whether, for whom, and under which conditions high school mathematics and science course graduation requirements (CGRs) affect student achievement and educational attainment. Drawing on data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09), fixed effects results show that higher math CGRs have a positive, but modest, impact on student test scores while no impact on college enrollment. Suggestive evidence indicates that higher science CGRs may have a negative, unintended effect on on-time postsecondary attendance. The positive effect of higher math CGRs is largely concentrated among students who are in the lowest and highest end of the math ability distribution, whereas the negative effect of higher science CGRs is primarily driven by students from high-middle socioeconomic families. The effects of CGRs appear to be moderated by institutional contexts in which schools with greater academic and social organizations have the strongest positive impacts. The second chapter evaluates whether postsecondary remediation influences college persistence, transfer, and attainment, and if effects vary by racial and socioeconomic subgroups. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth of 1997 (NLSY97), propensity score analysis results indicate that while remediation in only mathematics or only English has no impact on student outcomes, the effect of remediation in both subjects is positive for students who started postsecondary education in two-year colleges but it is negative for their four-year college counterparts. Sensitivity tests show that the estimates for four-year colleges are quite robust but they are less so for two-year colleges. Subgroup analyses reveal that in two-year colleges high-socioeconomic students benefited the most from remediation in the long run, whereas in four-year colleges remediation appears to hinder nonwhite and low-socioeconomic students from completing college. Findings suggest that postsecondary remediation plays a critical role in the social stratification process in higher education. The third chapter, co-authored with Barbara Schneider, Ken Frank, I-Chien Chen, Venessa Keesler, and Joseph Martineau, explores the differential effects of "consequential labeling" versus "non-consequential labeling" in the context of school accountability. Since the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted, grading and labeling low-performing schools has been increasingly used as a means to incentivize failing schools to raise student achievement. Using state-wide high school data from Michigan, our regression discontinuity analyses show that the bottom 5% schools identified as Persistently Lowest Achieving (PLA), which was publicly announced and has imminently threatening accountability, increased their student performance in writing and to a lesser extent in mathematics and social studies. The PLA effect in writing is quite robust, based on various sensitivity analyses. We find no improvement in student achievement for those bottom 6-20% schools labeled as "watch list" that received no actual penalties and little public attention. Our findings suggest that schools respond differently to varying forms of low-performing labeling, depending on the accountability pressure and social stigmatization process. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth