A study of minimum competency exams and earning a secondary school credential
For over thirty years, states have been implementing minimum competency exam (MCE) requirements, mandating that high school students demonstrate a basic level of proficiency before they are allowed to graduate. Despite concerns that these exams may have unintended consequences for low-performing students and students with low family income, twenty-five states currently require students to pass a MCE to graduate. This study evaluates the relationship between minimum competency exam requirements and secondary school completion using a nationally representative sample taken from the 1994 data collection of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 and a logistic regression model. The results indicate that MCEs are associated with an increase in the likelihood of dropping out for students with low family income.
0533: Secondary education
0630: Public policy