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.
Start Date: June 2006
ID #: 57922
Principal Investigator: Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, PhD
Organization: University of Chicago
Funding Round: Round 1
Adequate (or Adipose?) Yearly Progress: Assessing the Effect of No Child Left Behind on Children’s Obesity. Working Paper 16873This 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 have unintended negative consequences for More