Plenty of Children Left Behind
The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a high-stakes test that public school students must pass to be eligible for graduation from high school. Previous research suggests that high-stakes tests have a differential effect on students by race and ethnicity. This study finds that in one Florida school district African American and Hispanic students coming from poorer, less educated, or higher mobility households are less likely to meet graduation requirements than their higher socioeconomic, White, suburban counterparts. African American students and students from the lowest income households are also the most likely to encounter a negative graduation effect because the passing score on the FCAT rises each year. School characteristics also affect the probability of student success. High schools that hire more teachers with advanced degrees or offer a magnet program have better student FCAT scores. This results in higher probabilities that all categories of students will meet graduation requirements.