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To leave or not to leave? A regression discontinuity analysis of the impact of failing the high school exit exam

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  • Ou, Dongshu

Abstract

The high school exit exam (HSEE) is rapidly becoming a standardized assessment procedure for educational accountability in the United States. I use a unique, state-specific dataset to identify the effects of failing the HSEE on the likelihood of dropping out of high school based on a regression discontinuity design. The analysis shows that students who barely failed the exam were more likely to exit than those who barely passed, despite being offered retest opportunities. The discontinuity amounts to a large proportion of the dropout probability of barely failers, particularly for limited-English-proficiency, racial-minority, and low-income students, suggesting that the potential benefit of raising educational standards might come at the cost of increasing inequality in the educational system.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 171-186

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:171-186

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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Keywords: High school exit exam Student dropout Regression discontinuity;

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References

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  1. Kenneth Chay & Patrick J. McEwan & Miguel Urquiola, 2003. "The Central Role of Noise in Evaluating Interventions that Use Test Scores to Rank Schools," Discussion Papers 0304-10, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2008. "Regression-Discontinuity Analysis: A Survey of Recent Developments in Economics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(2), pages 219-245, 06.
  3. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  4. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John P. Papay & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2008. "The Consequences of High School Exit Examinations for Struggling Low-Income Urban Students: Evidence from Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 14186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lemieux, Thomas & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Incentive effects of social assistance: A regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 807-828, February.
  7. David S. Lee & David Card, 2006. "Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Julie Berry Cullen & Randall Reback, 2006. "Tinkering Toward Accolades: School Gaming Under a Performance Accountability System," NBER Working Papers 12286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas J. Kane, 2003. "A Quasi-Experimental Estimate of the Impact of Financial Aid on College-Going," NBER Working Papers 9703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Steven F. Koch & Jeffrey S. Racine, 2013. "Health Care Facility Choice and User Fee Abolition: Regression Discontinuity in a Multinomial Choice Setting," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-14, McMaster University.
  2. Ahn, Tom, 2014. "A regression discontinuity analysis of graduation standards and their impact on students’ academic trajectories," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 64-75.
  3. Jason M. Lindo & Nicholas J. Sanders & Philip Oreopoulos, 2008. "Ability, Gender, and Performance Standards: Evidence from Academic Probation," NBER Working Papers 14261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marcotte, Dave E., 2013. "High school dropout and teen childbearing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 258-268.
  5. Whitaker, Stephan, 2011. "The impact of legalized abortion on high school graduation through selection and composition," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-246, April.
  6. Papay, John P. & Willett, John B. & Murnane, Richard J., 2011. "Extending the regression-discontinuity approach to multiple assignment variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 203-207, April.

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