ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Catherine Robert


The relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and achievement is well documented. While federal and state accountability systems have attempted to close achievement gaps for economically disadvantaged students, underlying neoliberal assumptions of fair evaluation through ranking lead to a disregard for this context. Within this framework, better measures of SES are needed, as current measures such as free- and reduced-price lunch (FRL) lack the nuance to distinguish between levels and aspects of poverty. Similarly, an understanding of how such metrics influence accountability systems is also needed, particularly newly implemented systems under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Using correlation and regression analysis, this study explores district property value as a more sophisticated measure than the more commonly used free- and reduced-price lunch (FRL) and the relationship between both these SES measures and district accountability scores under the 2018 Texas accountability system. Although weakly correlated with accountability scores, the current study found little evidence that property value predicts accountability scores when controlling for demographic variables; as such the Texas system appears little influenced by disparities in property value between districts. However, the percentage of economically students within a district significantly predicts accountability scores when controlling for demographic variables, signifying that as the percentage of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in a district increases, the accountability score decreases. Results suggest that as one investigates the Texas A-F system, the grade is still un-made; district accountability outcomes intended to represent school quality, a basic tenet of neoliberal accountability systems, instead are influenced by factors including SES.


Accountability, Socio-economic status, Property values, Concentration of poverty, Neoliberalism


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington