[gov3009-l] Applied Statistics Workshop: Joshua Goodman on Wed., March 7

Konstantin Kashin kkashin at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Mar 5 04:05:30 EST 2012

Dear all,

Please join us for the Applied Statistics Workshop (Gov 3009) this
Wednesday, March 7 from 12.00 - 1.30 pm in CGIS Knafel Room 354. Joshua
Goodman <http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/jgoodma1/>, Assistant Professor of
Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, will give a presentation
entitled "Flaking Out: Snowfall, Disruptions of Instructional Time, and
Student Achievement". As always, a light lunch will be provided.


> Recent research on charter schools, summer learning loss, and
> international achievement suggests that instructional time is a critical
> input to the education production function. Using student and school-grade
> fixed effects models with data from Massachusetts, I find no relation
> between school closures and achievement but a strong relation between
> student absences and achievement. I then confirm these results using
> temporal and spatial variation in snowfall to provide better
> identification. Extreme snowfall induces school closures but does not
> affect achievement. Moderate snowfall induces student absences and does
> reduce achievement. Instrumental variables estimates suggest that each
> absence induced by bad weather reduces math achievement by 0.05 standard
> deviations. These results are consistent with a model of instruction in
> which coordination of students is the central challenge. Teachers deal well
> with coordinated disruptions of instructional time like school closures,
> but deal poorly with absences that affect different students and different
> times. These estimates suggest that absences are responsible for up to 20%
> of the achievement gap between poor and nonpoor students. They also suggest
> that policies designed solely to increase instructional time may not be
> effective.

An up-to-date schedule for the workshop is available at


Konstantin Kashin
Ph.D. Student in Government
Harvard University

Mobile: 978-844-0538
E-mail: kkashin at fas.harvard.edu
Site: http://www.konstantinkashin.com/<http://people.fas.harvard.edu/%7Ekkashin/>
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