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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Study Unlocks Why Decrepit Schools Mean Poor Test Scores

Study Unlocks Why Decrepit Schools Mean Poor Test Scores

ScienceBlog [] | July 20, 2016

Social scientists have known for several years that kids enrolled in run-down schools miss more classes and have lower test scores than students at well-maintained schools. But they haven’t been able to pin down why.
A Cornell environmental psychologist has an answer.
Lorraine Maxwell’s study of more than 230 New York City public middle schools found that a school’s social climate – from its academic expectations to the level of communication, respect and engagement among its students, teachers and parents – is a major missing link.


<more at; related articles and links: (The Effect of School Construction on Test Scores, School Enrollment, and Home Prices. Christopher Neilson and Seth Zimmerman. November 2011. [Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the effect of school construction projects on home prices, academic achievement, and public school enrollment. Taking advantage of the staggered implementation of a comprehensive school construction project in a poor urban district, we find that, by six years after building occupancy, $10,000 of per-student investment in school construction raised reading scores for elementary and middle school students by 0.027 standard deviations. For a student receiving the average treatment intensity this corresponds to a 0.21 standard deviation increase. School construction also raised home prices and public school enrollment in zoned neighborhoods. ]and (School building condition, social climate, student attendance and academic achievement: A mediation model. Lorraine E. Maxwell. Journal of Environmental PsychologyVolume 46, June 2016, Pages 206–216. [Abstract: Research investigating student academic achievement points to the contribution of the physical and social context of schools. Previous studies examined either the physical or social environment. The current study examines the social climate and student attendance as mediators of the relation between the physical environment and academic achievement. Secondary data for 236 NYC middle schools were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The model included: 1) building condition assessed by building professionals, 2) social climate measured by the Learning Quality Survey, 3) school level student attendance rate, 4) standardized math and English Language Arts test scores, 5) percent of student body eligible for free and reduced priced meals, and 6) percent of student body identified as minority. Findings indicate that academic achievement is linked to building condition mediated by the social climate and student attendance. The model accounted for 70 percent of the variance in the outcome measures.])>

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