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Volume 19 Issue 1


K-12 education, elementary, middle school, high school, value-added growth


This study assesses the impact school transitions have on grade-level value-added growth scores in Arkansas. Arkansas is unique in that the autonomy of setting building level transitions is left to individual districts. This distinction allows researchers to make comparisons between student groups that where students transitioned upward to a new building and those who did not. Using data covering five different school years, this study evaluates mathematics and English language-arts value-added growth scores of grade levels that transitioned to a new building and compared them to grade-level growth scores of buildings where students did not make a transition. Using regression analyses, we find that overall, there are not consistent results showing less growth during a transition year. However, we find a pattern that shows that students who transition in 6th and 7th grade, common transition years in Arkansas, demonstrate lower value-added growth-scores compared to student groups who did not transition. These results are similar for both mathematics and ELA. This study adds to current literature about value-added growth in Arkansas. We discuss our findings in the context of prior transition year literature and conclude with policy suggestions