Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
John B. Gilmour
Specifics of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 compel at least one assessment to be given in high school, but it remains the duty of each state to decide how and when to administer that and other standardized assessments. Some states have chosen to require proficient performance on standardized tests in order to receive a high school diploma, and such a policy is more commonly known as an exit examination. In this project I address the following question: under which forms of state education governance do states choose to adopt a standardized high school exit exam? In this research I explore both how the bureaucratic structure of state education governance and the role of partisan politics may impact the creation and establishment of education policy. Results reveal that centralized governance has a negligible impact on exit examination policy but partisan control - specifically Democratic partisan control - is strongly correlated with the presence of exit examination policy. Implications and further applications of this research are discussed in the concluding section of the paper.
Newton, Avery Danforth, "State Education Leadership and Exit Examination Policy: A Study of Centralization and Partisanship" (2013). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 582.
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