Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


French, P. Edward

Committee Member

Patrick, Barbara

Committee Member

Shaffer, Stephen D.

Committee Member

Stanisevski, Dragan

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Public Policy and Public Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


Performance policies propose to enhance the quality of services provided to vulnerable citizens. However, the ability to accomplish this goal is largely unsubstantiated. In the field of education, the No Child Left Behind Act outlined performance policy guidelines that held educators accountable for disadvantaged students outcomes and provided students with the option to seek the serves of alternative providers through a student transfer provision. This dissertation assesses the quality of states’ NCLB provisions that targeted minority and vulnerable student performance as well as utilization of the NCLB transfer provision allowing students to exit underperforming schools. It indicates that teachers’ union strength, minority student population, and past performance impacted the development of vulnerable student accountability provisions. The use of the transfer provision was limited by the strength of the accountability system implemented. As a result, the transfer provision is being poorly utilized and the states have negatively affected the educational opportunities of marginalized populations.