Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Serkan Ozbeklik

Rights Information

© 2013 Ernest Wayne Hayhurst


This paper will assess the effectiveness of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in the state of Texas. In order to do this, we examine how students’ performance levels from failing schools respond to sanctions imposed by the NCLB accountability system. Additionally, we explore achievement gap trends between white and minority students that attend these failing schools. By taking advantage of campus and year fixed effects, as well as controlling for student demographic characteristics, we find that sanctions employed by NCLB have had a statistically significant positive impact on academic achievement gains for all students. However, our results also indicate that these sanctions have effectively widened the achievement gaps between the white and minority students they affect. Given that the federal government spends upwards of 14 billion dollars per year to fund NCLB, this paper offers new insight to an economically important issue that is relevant to all citizens of the United States.