The court system has been an increasingly important forum in the attempts to remedy the persistent achievement gaps in American education. In the past twenty years, school finance adequacy litigation has replaced desegregation as the most widely used legal strategy in these efforts. Despite the widespread use of adequacy litigation, few researchers have examined the link between adequacy lawsuits and student outcomes. This study analyzed the relationship between school finance adequacy litigation and academic proficiency, as measured by scores on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The results showed that successful adequacy litigation had a small, significant, positive relationship with NAEP scores, but little differential benefit for students living in poverty or for children of color, with the exception of African American students. Therefore, this evidence suggests that adequacy litigation has had little impact on reducing the achievement gap, though it may have contributed to a small, across the board improvement in student outcomes. ACCESS FULL MANUSCRIPT HERE:

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