Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Studies


Paul Manna

Committee Members

Virginia McLaughlin

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.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only