Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Joyce T. Jones

Second Advisor

Dr. Candice Carter

Third Advisor

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Fourth Advisor

Dr. David Fenner

Department Chair

Dr. Joyce T. Jones

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel


Florida has the longest history of high stakes testing of any state in the United States, spanning a period of 28 years, seven different testing policy periods, and five tests. In this study, analysis of statistics from the 28 years suggested that declines in graduation rates corresponded to increasingly difficult high stakes testing policy periods, new tests, and periods that did not include high stakes accountability for graduation rates. Overall, graduation rates declined through an erratic 28 years for a net loss of 4.51 %. The achievement gap in graduation rates between white and black students worsened 200% from 1992 to 2003. Analysis of a random sample of 3,000 Florida 9th grade students in 1999 indicated that 42.6% of students graduated within four years with a standard diploma. School achievement variables, including grade point average, retention history, high stakes test scores, and attendance, were found to be the best predictors of individual student graduation. Implications were that to benefit the individual student for graduation, teachers and other educators must work to ensure academic success. Educators should conduct further studies to better understand the relationship between graduation success and high stakes testing polices.

Included in

Education Commons