Improving Outcomes for Struggling Students Initiative
Student Grade Retention and Achievement
Thousands of Georgia students are retained in grade each year. In some cases they are also provided additional support, in an effort to raise academic proficiency. Although promotion rules are determined by the Georgia Department of Education, some Georgia school districts are granted waivers to customize their promotion and placement policy to meet the needs of students in the district. This study will provide evidence on the effects of grade retention on short-run outcomes like achievement test scores, as well as on longer-run outcomes like dropout and high school graduation. The results can inform the formulation of future retention policies, including guidelines for decision-making and possible interventions that are offered to students who are retained.
Nudging to Improve Attendance
This study will determine if providing information to parents and students can improve student attendance and academic outcomes for chronically absent students. The first intervention involves texting parents about their elementary or middle-school child’s attendance, how it ranks relative to his/her peers and the importance of attending school. The second intervention will send customized text reminders to high school students about the morning school bus stop location.