Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

William Ascher

Reader 2

Aseema Sinha

Rights Information

© 2016 Isabella R. Burch


The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act is India’s most recent national-level policy in pursuit of universalizing elementary education. While some states have been successful at increasing the number of students who attend school, reducing dropout rates, and reducing the rates of out of school children, others are still struggling to make progress. The states that are successful are surprising in some instances because they are not particularly wealthy, they have large rural populations, and some face larger socio-political issues. This thesis finds that the states succeeding in meeting RTE goals are not always the states that are the best at implementing RTE norms. States are often successful when they violate the RTE norms in order to suit their communities’ educational needs. States are also successful when they introduce child welfare policies outside of education in order to address external issues that prevent children from attending school.