Attempting Education Reform through the Courts: The Inefficacy of Abbott V Court-Mandated Funding Reallocation and Reforms in Underperforming School Districts in New Jersey

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2010-12

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Abstract

This research project analyzes the effects of the 1998 Abbott V New Jersey Supreme Court decision on student achievement in the state’s underperforming Abbott districts. The Court mandated the reallocation of the districts’ state aid to best practice reforms. This project uses regression analysis to compare the Abbott districts to socioeconomically similar districts in New Jersey while controlling for the confounding factors of each district’s Black student percentage, Hispanic student percentage, socioeconomic status, and expenditure per pupil. The results show that Abbott V had no effect on fourth grade achievement between 2004 and 2007 and lowered achievement growth for cohorts of students who entered fourth grade in 2004 and 2005. The results hold for both language arts and math achievement measured both as district proficiency rate and district average score. The project concludes that Abbott V was not effective in increasing student achievement and that the state was justified in eliminating the Abbott district system under the School Funding Reform Act of 2008.

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Senior Honors Thesis for Public Policy Studies

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Song, Kevin (2010). Attempting Education Reform through the Courts: The Inefficacy of Abbott V Court-Mandated Funding Reallocation and Reforms in Underperforming School Districts in New Jersey. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/3185.


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