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The impact of state-mandated Advanced Placement programs on student outcomes

Paula Arce-Trigatti

Economics of Education Review, 2018, vol. 63, issue C, 180-193

Abstract: This paper examines the effect of a state mandate to offer Advanced Placement (AP) programs at all public high schools on student outcomes. Requiring compliance with this policy could lead to unintended consequences as schools shift resources or students are re-sorted. Using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy, I investigate a 2004 state-wide mandate to offer AP programs in Arkansas and its impact on students’ schooling outcomes. Results suggest schools decrease the share of courses dedicated to career and technical education in favor of AP courses. Additionally, enrollment decreases by about 60 students on average, the 4-year graduation rate increases by 2.5 percentage points, and there are generally fewer students scoring in the highest category on two end-of-course exams at schools required to comply with the mandate. Taken together, these results suggest the policy may have at least partially affected the sorting of students across schools.

Keywords: Curriculum choices; Human capital investments; State-level education mandates; Advanced Placement programs; College preparation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I21 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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