Believe it or not, some schools across the United States of America don’t have access to air conditioning, even though the country has the greatest economy and is generally considered to be one of the best educational landscapes across the globe. As if common sense didn’t prove it to be true already, recent peer-reviewed research indicates that students forced to learn in classrooms without working air conditioning perform significantly worse than their more-fortunate counterparts who are granted the luxury of air conditioning.
According to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research that placed average classroom and schoolwide temperatures aside standardized test scores, students exposed to comparatively warmer classrooms don’t perform as well as those in schools with lower temperatures.
While such research certainly doesn’t suggest that administrators, teachers, or maintenance workers should force kids to learn in environments that are freezing cold, it’s safe to assume that the phenomenon it found holds true on both an ongoing and interim basis – students exposed to classrooms without air conditioning for just a few hours don’t perform well, nor do those who spend most or all of their time at school in classrooms with no air conditioning over the long haul.
The National Bureau of Economic Research study compared weather data published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), pronounced like the biblical name “Noah,” with scores on the PSAT, or the practice version of the SAT, a test commonly used to determine college readiness.
More than 10 million students’ scores were used to make the aforementioned assumption. Further, they had to have taken the PSAT at least two times. All data concerns students in schools from 2001 and 2014.