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Putting the K in Rank: How Kindergarten Classrooms Impact Short and Long-Run Outcomes

A student's class rank has important short and long-term effects on important educational outcomes. Despite our growing understanding of these rank effects, we still do not know how early in a child's academic career they begin. To address this, I use data from the Tennessee STAR project, which randomly assigned over 6,323 kindergarteners to classroom environments, to study the impact of kindergarten class rank on a host of short and long-run outcomes. I find a strong, causal relationship between one's kindergarten classroom rank and subsequent test scores, high school achievement and performance on college entrance exams. I also find that having a higher rank in kindergarten causes an increase in study effort, value of school and initiative in the classroom. I also leverage the design of project STAR to test various mechanisms and address several outstanding issues in the rank literature, including the role of tracking, parental effort and teacher-level characteristics in driving the effects of class rank.

Keywords
Rank
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/mbzk-7d39

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Fury, Derek. (). Putting the K in Rank: How Kindergarten Classrooms Impact Short and Long-Run Outcomes. (EdWorkingPaper: 22-641). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/mbzk-7d39

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