The impact of high-stakes testing on student proficiency in low-stakes subjects: Evidence from Florida's elementary science exam
Economics of Education Review Volume 29, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
An important criticism of high-stakes testing policies – policies that reward or sanction schools based on their students’ performance on standardized tests – is that they provide schools with an incentive to focus on those subjects that play a role in the accountability system while decreasing attention to those subjects that are not part of the program. This paper utilizes a regression discontinuity design to evaluate the impact of Florida's high-stakes testing policy on student proficiency in the low-stakes subject of science. We confirm prior results that students in schools facing more immediate sanctions under the policy made substantial gains in the high-stakes subjects of math and reading. Contrary to the crowding-out hypothesis, we find that students in these schools made substantial achievement gains in the low-stakes subject of science as well.
Winters, M.A., Trivitt, J.R. & Greene, J.P. (2010). The impact of high-stakes testing on student proficiency in low-stakes subjects: Evidence from Florida's elementary science exam. Economics of Education Review, 29(1), 138-146. Elsevier Ltd.