How does test exemption affect schools' and students' academic performance?

Jennifer L. Jennings, Andrew A. Beveridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Analyzing data from a large urban district in Texas, this study examines how high-stakes test exemptions alter officially reported scores and asks whether test exemption has implications for the academic achievement of special education students. Test exemption inflated overall passing rates but especially affected the passing rates of African American and Hispanic students because these students were more likely to be exempted. Furthermore, our results suggest that tested special education students in Grades 3 through 8 performed better academically than they would have if they were not tested. However, taking the high-stakes test provided no academic benefit to special education students in Grades 9 through 11.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-175
Number of pages23
JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


  • Accountability
  • High-stakes testing
  • Special education


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