Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Relationship of High School Graduation Exams to Graduation Rates and SAT Scores

by Marchant, G. J. & Paulson, S. E. (2005, January 21). Education Policy Analysis Archives, 13(6).
The current study examined the effect of high school graduation exams on
states’ graduation rates, states’ aggregated SAT scores, and individual
students’ SAT scores. Three data sources were used: One source
identified states requiring a standardized test for graduation; the NCES
provided state aggregated data on graduation rates for the class of
2002; and the College Board provided its 2001 SAT database for all
test-takers. After controlling for students’ demographic characteristics
(e.g., race, family education and income, GPA and class rank),
regression analyses revealed that states requiring graduation exams had
lower graduation rates and lower SAT scores. Individually, students from
states requiring a graduation exam performed more poorly on the SAT than
did students from states not requiring an exam. The impact of high
stakes tests’ on students’ motivation to stay in school and on the
teaching of critical thinking skills (tested by the SAT) are discussed.

For a full PDF report, see

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