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Performance effects of failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Evidence from a regression discontinuity framework

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  • Hemelt, Steven W.
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    Abstract

    As the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law moves through the reauthorization process, it is important to understand the basic performance impacts of its central structure of accountability. In this paper, I examine the effects of failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under NCLB on subsequent student math and reading performance at the school level. Using panel data on Maryland elementary and middle schools from 2003 to 2009, I find that the scope of failure matters: Academic performance suffers in the short run in response to school-wide failure. However, schools that meet achievement targets for the aggregate student group, yet fail to meet at least one demographic subgroup's target see between 3 and 6 percent more students in the failing subgroup score proficiently the following year, compared to if no accountability pressure were in place. I discuss alternative interpretations and policy implications of the main findings.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 702-723

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:702-723

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Accountability NCLB Student performance Sanctions;

    References

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    1. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2004. "Does School Accountability Lead to Improved Student Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Winters, Marcus A. & Trivitt, Julie R. & Greene, Jay P., 2010. "The impact of high-stakes testing on student proficiency in low-stakes subjects: Evidence from Florida's elementary science exam," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 138-146, February.
    3. Martin R. West & Paul E. Peterson, 2006. "The Efficacy of Choice Threats Within School Accountability Systems: Results from Legislatively Induced Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C46-C62, 03.
    4. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    5. Springer, Matthew G., 2008. "The influence of an NCLB accountability plan on the distribution of student test score gains," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 556-563, October.
    6. Jacob, Brian A., 2005. "Accountability, incentives and behavior: the impact of high-stakes testing in the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 761-796, June.
    7. Jonah Rockoff & Lesley J. Turner, 2010. "Short-Run Impacts of Accountability on School Quality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 119-47, November.
    8. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs In Economics," Working Papers 1118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    9. Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2007. "No Child Left Behind: Estimating the Impact on Choices and Student Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 13009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Reback, Randall, 2008. "Teaching to the rating: School accountability and the distribution of student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1394-1415, June.
    11. Austin Nichols, 2007. "Causal inference with observational data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 507-541, December.
    12. Chiang, Hanley, 2009. "How accountability pressure on failing schools affects student achievement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1045-1057, October.
    13. Helen F. Ladd & Douglas L. Lauen, 2010. "Status versus growth: The distributional effects of school accountability policies," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 426-450.
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    Cited by:
    1. Sims, David P., 2013. "Can failure succeed? Using racial subgroup rules to analyze the effect of school accountability failure on student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 262-274.
    2. Matsudaira, Jordan D. & Hosek, Adrienne & Walsh, Elias, 2012. "An integrated assessment of the effects of Title I on school behavior, resources, and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 1-14.

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