Thursday, February 2, 2012

Effects of High School Course-Taking on Secondary and Postsecondary Success


Using panel data from a census of public school students in the state of Florida, the authors of this study examine the associations between students’ high school course-taking in various subjects and their 10th-grade test scores, high school graduation, entry into postsecondary institutions, and postsecondary performance.

The authors use propensity score matching (based on 8thgrade test scores, other student characteristics, and school effects) within groups of students matched on the composition of the students’ course-taking in other subjects to estimate the differences in outcomes for students who take rigorous courses in a variety of subjects.

The authors find substantial significant differences in outcomes for those who take rigorous courses, and these estimated effects are often larger for disadvantaged youth and students attending disadvantaged schools.

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