Does Participation in 4‐H Improve Schooling Outcomes? Evidence from Florida
21 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 2015
We examine the effect that participation in 4‐H, the largest youth development program in the United States, has on standardized test scores. We do this by utilizing grade‐level longitudinal data on Florida's school districts from the Florida Department of Education, combined with 4‐H participation statistics from the Florida 4‐H. Specifically, we analyze the effect of the extent of 4‐H participation for third‐ through tenth grade on the mathematics and reading subtests of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). We use a difference‐in‐difference‐in‐differences approach to control for potential confounders of the causal relationship at the level of school districts, grades, and years. Our results indicate that the extent of 4‐H participation at the district‐grade‐year level is positively and significantly related to several measures of performance on the FCAT test. Furthermore, we find suggestive evidence that these positive effects of 4‐H participation accumulate over time.
Keywords: 4‐H program, Florida, standardized test scores
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