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

By Dongshu Ou


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

Topics: HB Economic Theory, LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2009.06.002
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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