Higher Education Policy as Secondary School Reform: Texas Public High Schools after Hopwood

Thurston Domina, Princeton University

This article assesses three policies enacted in Texas after the elimination of affirmative action as high school reform initiatives. The Texas top 10% law, the Longhorn and Century Scholarships, and the TEXAS Grants Program were designed to improve diversity at Texas universities. Nonetheless, this paper's analysis of panel data describing Texas high schools between 1993 and 2002 demonstrates that each of these policies redistributed college-related activity at the state’s high schools and boosted high school students’ academic engagement. These findings lend support to comprehensive K-16 school reform proposals, which seek use of college opportunities as incentives to improve the educational outcomes of high school students.

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Presented in Session 136: Educational Attainment: Trends, Determinants, and Consequences