NCEO Synthesis Reports: High Stakes Graduation Exams: The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Minnesota's Basic Standards Tests for Students with Disabilities (#62)


This year 2006 report examines the intended and unintended consequences of Minnesota's high stakes graduation exam on students with disabilities through focus group data and interviews. The study included focus groups included parents of students with disabilities, special educators from six schools in two large urban and suburban school districts, and member of the Minnesota Association of educational Assessment and Evaluation, and interviews from building administrators, school district representatives, and a state representative. Findings include a combination of positive and negative consequences such as increasing exposure to curriculum, increased participation in testing, raising expectations, high levels of anxiety and frustration, and drop-out concerns among other findings. The author concludes that further studies are needed to document empirically whether these consequences are occurring for students with disabilities.


August 2006 
Number 62
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)


  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • Diplomas and Graduation Requirements
    • Accessibility & Accommodations
    • Assessment Participation
    • Students with Disabilities