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Thursday, February 14, 2008
Study Suggests "No Child Left Behind" May Push Minority Students to Leave High School
The study, summarized here on the Chronicle of Higher Education blog, tracked students in a large urban Texas district over seven years and found that the state's school accountability law created incentives for high schools to let students drop out (or even take steps that might encourage them to do so). Because the law calls for schools to be rated based on their students' test scores, it enables schools to improve their ratings by letting many of their lowest-scoring students--who are disproportionately black, Hispanic, and low-income--walk out the door. It also creates incentives for school officials to hold students back a year, which generally results in improvements in their test scores but also strongly increases the likelihood they will drop out.