Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Mathematical Economics

Reader 1

Patrick Van Horn

Reader 2

Nayana Bose


This thesis analyses how increases in California high schools’ mean standardized testing and reporting (STAR) scores (calculated as an Academic Performance Index score [API]) are correlated with their stated goal of decreasing the racial dispersion of those standardized test scores over the 13 year period in which the exams were in effect. The racial dispersion of the test scores is used as a representation of the racial achievement gap in the United States. I find that the overall achievement gap and the individual racial achievement gaps other than the White-Asian and African-American-Hispanic achievement gaps increased as school’s mean standardized test scores increased. The No Child Left Behind Act and the Public School Accountability Act aim to decrease these achievement gaps by incentivizing schools and teachers to improve mean test scores for funding. This theory is based on the premise that as teachers better prepare students for standardized testing, the racial dispersion of the test scores will decrease. In my thesis however, I find that while these Acts intended for the achievement gaps to decrease as API growth increased, I found that none of the achievement gaps were indeed inversely correlated with API growth.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.