Building condition and student achievement and behavior

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Virginia Tech


This study examined the relationship between the condition of school facilities and student achievement and student behavior. The entire population of small, rural high schools in Virginia was used in this study. Building condition was determined by the Commonwealth Assessment of Physical Environment which was completed by personnel in the divisions of the forty-seven schools in the population. Student achievement was determined by the scale scores of the Test of Academic Proficiency for grade eleven during the 1991-1992 school year. Student behavior was determined by the ratio of the number of expulsions, suspensions, and violence/substance abuse incidents to the number of students in each school. All achievement scores were adjusted for socioeconomic status by using the free and reduced lunch numbers for each school. These variables were investigated using analysis of covariance, correlations, and regression analysis.

This study found the student achievement scores were higher in schools with better building conditions. Student discipline incidents were also higher in schools with better building condition. Science achievement scores were better in buildings with better science laboratory conditions. Cosmetic building condition appeared to impact student achievement and student behavior more than structural building condition. Finally, varying climate control, locker, and graffiti conditions were factors which were positively related to student achievement scale scores.