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The impact of high-stakes testing on student proficiency in low-stakes subjects: Evidence from Florida's elementary science exam

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  • Winters, Marcus A.
  • Trivitt, Julie R.
  • Greene, Jay P.

Abstract

An important criticism of high-stakes testing policies - policies that reward or sanction schools based on their students' performance on standardized tests - is that they provide schools with an incentive to focus on those subjects that play a role in the accountability system while decreasing attention to those subjects that are not part of the program. This paper utilizes a regression discontinuity design to evaluate the impact of Florida's high-stakes testing policy on student proficiency in the low-stakes subject of science. We confirm prior results that students in schools facing more immediate sanctions under the policy made substantial gains in the high-stakes subjects of math and reading. Contrary to the crowding-out hypothesis, we find that students in these schools made substantial achievement gains in the low-stakes subject of science as well.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:1:p:138-146
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Figlio, David N. & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2006. "Do accountability and voucher threats improve low-performing schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 239-255, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hemelt, Steven W., 2011. "Performance effects of failure to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Evidence from a regression discontinuity framework," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 702-723, August.
    2. Borghans, Lex & Meijers, Huub & ter Weel, Bas, 2013. "The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for measuring IQ," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 17-28.
    3. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. Stefanie Dufaux, 2012. "Assessment for Qualification and Certification in Upper Secondary Education: A Review of Country Practices and Research Evidence," OECD Education Working Papers 83, OECD Publishing.

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