Stricter school accountability standards have changed the inner workings of elementary schools in the United States, raising test scores in the process. These changes have been particularly abrupt in schools labeled as failing under their states accountability regime. This study will assess whether children in schools just below the test score cutoffs are more likely to be overweight than children in schools just above the cutoffs. Two different datasets will be used: statewide, school-level data on test score performance and obesity levels in Arkansas, and individual-level data from a nationwide sample. Mechanisms to be assessed include increased instructional time, decreased time for physical activity, and changes in the food environment through which accountability may impact obesity.
Effect of School Accountability Policies on Children’s Health
This paper discusses the impact of early elementary school attendance on children’s body weight. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort of 1998 (ECLS-K), researchers compared the weights of children who had completed first grade to those of the same age who had completed kindergarten only. Employing a … More
Adequate (or Adipose?) Yearly Progress: Assessing the Effect of No Child Left Behind on Children’s Obesity. Working Paper 16873
This paper discusses how accountability pressures for schools to improve test score outcomes implemented under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) may affect children’s obesity. Using a unique dataset of Arkansas schools that merged school-level information on test scores, obesity, and other demographic information, researchers found that NCLB accountability rules may … More
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More