Adam L. Jones

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2008

Capstone Advisor

Jing Lei

Honors Reader

Hongying Wang

Capstone Major

Political Science

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

American Politics | Comparative Politics | Political Science


Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in the United States in 2001, there has been ever increasing attention paid to the role of high-stakes testing in an education system. The system in the United States and its counterpart in the People’s Republic of China have come under scrutiny because of their heavy reliance on high-stakes testing.

It is understandable in the United States that these tests may be necessary to ensure the existence of accountability in the educational system. Similarly, it is understandable that the People’s Republic of China needs an education system to help place their millions of students into places of higher education. However, the systems used in both China and the United States are having dramatic negative effects on the quality of education their students are receiving.

This project first looks at how the policies of each country attempt to accomplish the three main goals that each country sets for their education system: good intellect, a good moral character, and good health. While these three goals are noble for any education system to strive for, the analysis conducted in this work show that the competition and emphasis surrounding high-stakes testing have severely diminished American and Chinese student’s education in those areas in three ways: A narrowing of subjects being taught, diminished time for extracurricular activities, and a noticeable decline of student’s mental health. These three side effects of No Child Left Behind and the Education Law of the People’s Republic of China are directly contradicting the goals the education systems try to achieve.

The findings of this work are based upon extensive research regarding American and Chinese education policy and the negative effects of high-stakes testing. What sets this work apart from others on the same subject rests on the fact that other works center on the aspect of high-stakes testing as opposed to relating those effects to the goals of education, and even further, the performance of students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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