Field-Initiated Major Grants


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2008 Grant Summaries

Jonah Rockoff
Randall Reback

The Effects of No Child Left Behind on School Services and Student Outcomes
Columbia University

In this study, Columbia University economists Rockoff and Reback focus on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and how its incentives motivate schools differently, especially in relation to their likelihood of meeting adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals. Their inquiry extends to the impact of NCLB’s incentives on schools’ resource allocation, to teachers’ behavior within classrooms, and to student outcomes. Given the fact that states can set their own standards for AYP, Rockoff and Reback use both data that states generate under NCLB and data generated at the national level on student outcomes, teacher behavior, and school resources. The study improves on previous work on NCLB impacts by simultaneously examining individual-level growth in math and reading achievement and intra- and inter-state variation in schools’ AYP performance and allocation of resources.

The research combines two datasets. The first, a national dataset assembled by Rockoff and Reback, uses AYP data that include student and school subgroup data. The second dataset is based on survey data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), which includes data on reading and math achievement, social and emotional development, classroom activities, and school resources. The quantitative analyses reflect a resource allocation framework, weighing choices that schools and teachers make to determine what is motivated by the NCLB accountability system. Based on earlier exploratory analyses, Rockoff and Reback hypothesize that schools near the threshold of meeting AYP are likely to be most affected by the law’s incentives. They address two primary research questions: 1) Do schools on the margin of satisfying AYP alter their behavior in ways that shift the types of skills students acquire, affect teachers’ priorities and time-use, change the frequency of various services offered to students, or influence students’ non-academic outcomes? and 2) Do schools’ responses depend on whether the school failed to satisfy AYP during the prior year or whether a school was eligible for federal Title I funding, thus putting it at risk for more serious consequences?

2009 Grant Summaries


There are no grant summaries for 2009 available at the moment.

2010 Grant Summaries


There are no grant summaries for 2010 available at the moment.