Performance Effects of Failure to Make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Framework

Posted: 29 May 2011

See all articles by Steven W. Hemelt

Steven W. Hemelt

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Date Written: February 23, 2011

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 through 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 in the following year, compared to if no accountability pressure were in place. I discuss alternative interpretations and policy implications of the main findings.

Keywords: accountability, NCLB, student performance, sanctions

JEL Classification: I21, I28

Suggested Citation

Hemelt, Steven W., Performance Effects of Failure to Make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Framework (February 23, 2011). Economics of Education Review, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1855014

Steven W. Hemelt (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

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