Assistant Professor of Education and Economics at Harvard University
We study the impact of accountability pressure in Texas public high schools in the 1990s on postsecondary attainment and earnings, using administrative data from the Texas Schools Project (TSP). We find that high schools respond to the risk of being rated Low-Performing by increasing student achievement on high-stakes exams. Years later, these students are more likely to have attended college and completed a four-year degree, and they have higher earnings at age 25. However, we find no overall impact - and large declines in attainment and earnings for low-scoring students - of pressure to achieve a higher accountability rating.