Discussion Paper

Unintended Consequences in School Accountability Policies

Abstract: Over the past two decades, state and federal education policies have tried to hold schools more accountable for educating their students. A common criticism of these policies is that they may induce schools to “game the system” with strategies such as excluding certain types of students from computation of school average test scores. In this post, based on our recent New York Fed staff report, “Vouchers, Responses, and the Test Taking Population: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Florida,” we investigate whether Florida schools resorted to such strategic behavior in response to a voucher program. We find some evidence that Florida’s schools strategically reclassified weak students into exempt categories, and we draw some lessons that are applicable to New York City’s education policies.

Keywords: No Child Left Behind; Accountability;

JEL Classification: Q1; R1;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2011-11-28

Number: 20111128