The Impact of No Child Left Behind on New Jersey Student Achievement

Falconer, Donovan [Browse]
Senior thesis


Olson, Craig A. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Economics [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 was passed to move all students towards proficiency. Through the use of adequate yearly progress requirements, the policy mandated corrective action for schools that did not meet certain goals. Using third and fifth grade test scores from New Jersey public schools, this case study seeks to determine the effect the legislation has had on student achievement. The impact of NCLB is identified using a difference-in-differences regression model between two cohorts of students. I find significant positive estimates for weighted sum reading scores and higher scoring students in both test subjects. The positive effects do not appear in lower performing populations, leaving the achievement of the policy's goals in doubt. This result differs from previous case studies, which hints at possible implementation issues between states.

Supplementary Information