Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Bradley Hays




achievement, claim, gaps, high, income


This thesis focuses on the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 and the vocal criticism aimed at every facet of the educational reform policy. I chose to target my research locally based upon the claims being made about NCLB and the New York State Report Card database of publicly available information. Claim: The No Child Left Behind Act has produced meager gains in achievement. The data also demonstrates that most of the gains made in student achievement only regressed as the years increased from NCLB’s inception. Furthermore, I was able to find that achievement gaps between racial subgroups within a given school are larger in English Language Arts than Mathematics and the achievement gaps between high income and low-income students are larger between the schools than the gaps within a school. Claim: “The use of mean proficiency has a disparate impact on schools serving low-income children and subgroup accountability can over-identify racially diverse schools as failing to make AYP.” The key findings were that Niskayuna who serves a homogeneous student body was labeled “In Good Standing” each year, whereas Schenectady High School who serves a racially/ethnically student body was labeled “Requiring Academic Progress” every year. Claim: Graduation rates are lower since the implementation of NCLB. From this data I was able to conclude that NCLB did not improve Niskayuna or Schenectady High School’s graduation rates.