Adequate (or Adipose?) Yearly Progress: Assessing the Effect of "No Child Left Behind" on Children's Obesity
This paper investigates how accountability pressures under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) may affect children's rate of overweight. Schools facing increased pressures to produce academic outcomes may reallocate their efforts in ways that have unintended consequences for children's health. For example, schools may cut back on recess and physical education in favor of increasing time on tested subjects. To examine the impact of school accountability programs, we create a unique panel data set of schools in Arkansas that allows us to test the impact of NCLB rules on students' weight outcomes. Our main approach is to consider schools to be facing increased pressures if they are on the margin of passing - that is, if any subgroup at the school has a passing rate that is close to the AYP passing threshold, where we define close as being 5 percentage points above or below the threshold. We find evidence of small effects of accountability pressures on the percent of students at a school that are overweight. A follow-up survey of school principals points to reductions in physical activity and worsening of the food environment as potential mechanisms.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||CH ED HE|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- Farasat A.S. Bokhari & Helen Schnedier, 2009.
"School accountability laws and the consumption of psychostimulants,"
wp2009_03_02, Department of Economics, Florida State University, revised 08 Mar 2009.
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- Randall Reback & Julie Berry Cullen, 2006.
"Tinkering toward accolades: School gaming under a performance accountability system,"
0601, Barnard College, Department of Economics.
- Julie Berry Cullen & Randall Reback, 2006. "Tinkering Toward Accolades: School Gaming Under a Performance Accountability System," NBER Working Papers 12286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas Dee & Brian Jacob, 2009. "The Impact of No Child Left Behind on Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 15531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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