No Child Left Behind transfer option: impact on school site demographics and student achievement

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact ofthe No Child Left Behind transfer option on school demographics and student achievement. The 2002 No Child Left Behind federal education act placed sanctions on schools that did not meet the Adequate Yearly Progress requirement. As a result of the sanctions, there was an option for students to transfer to higher performing schools. The purpose of the transfer option was to provide underserved student populations the opportunity to excel in a higher performing school environment. Existing research found trends that countered the intent of the federal edict. Students who elected to transfer tended to be performing at proficient levels prior to transferring and demographic evidence revealed a higher percentage of white students left lower performing schools. Achievement levels for students transferring to higher performing schools showed no statistically significant change in Language Arts and Math. The data analyzed in this study was derived from four middle schools in the Vista Unified School District. The pre-transfer achievement data revealed that the majority of students who elected to transfer were proficient on the California Standardized Test prior to transferring. Demographic data mirrored national "white flight" trends as the majority of transfer students were Caucasian. Post transfer data indicated minor achievement gains for transfer students compared to sending and receiving school populations. The analysis indicated that the NCLB transfer option was not impacting the intended student population.