ERIC Number: ED510053
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
New York State School Facilities and Student Health, Achievement, and Attendance: A Data Analysis Report
Boese, Stephen; Shaw, John
Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
Students who attend schools with environmental hazards that impact indoor air quality are more likely to miss class, and therefore lose learning opportunities. Yet school environmental health and safety remains largely unregulated and there is no state or federal agency in charge of protecting children's environmental health in schools. This report looks at information compiled from all public schools in two New York counties, and from a select group of schools from around the state that have reported environmental health and safety problems. The findings show that, despite the lack of an up-to-date system for collecting data on environmental hazards in schools, it is still possible to correlate existing information with state funding to repair hazards and to show that unhealthy schools rob students of valuable classroom learning time. Based on the conclusions of their research, the authors are making the following recommendations: (1) Replace the current system of annual school facilities reports with one using evidence-based assessments actionable in a short (one year) time frame and link it to state funding that is currently available under the minor maintenance and repair (MMR) program to mitigate identified hazards; (2) Create unified linking codes for each school and collect the data via the internet for better accuracy and public accessibility; (3) The New York State Education Department should make the facilities environmental quality data available to parents and the general public to facilitate improvement efforts; and (4) The methods used for this study, in particular the linked building and performance data, should be replicated in other counties around the state for more precision of analysis and targeting of priorities. Data for this report came from 18 separate school districts, six in Columbia County and 12 in Dutchess County, for the 2002-2003 school year. It was augmented by data collected from 11 of the same districts for the 2003-2004 school year. [Support for this report was provided by the Rockefeller Foundation's Working Communities Program.]
Descriptors: Educational Environment, School Safety, Public Schools, Hazardous Materials, Educational Facilities Improvement, Maintenance, Pollution, Academic Achievement, Attendance Patterns, Child Health, Counties, School Buildings, Educational Finance, Reports, Budgets, Data Collection, Scores
Healthy Schools Network, Inc. 773 Madison Avenue 1st Floor, Albany, NY 12208. Tel: 518-462-0632: Fax: 518-462-0433; Web site: http://www.healthyschools.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Healthy Schools Network, Inc., Albany, NY.
Identifiers - Location: New York