NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Bullying Takes Toll on High School Test Scores

August 12, 2011

Students attending high schools dominated by bullies are more likely to have lower standardized test scores, a new study shows, reports Yahoo! News.

  • Researchers in Virginia found that schoolwide passing rates on three different standardized exams (Algebra I, Earth Science and World History) were 3 percent to 6 percent lower in schools where students reported a more severe bullying climate.
  • In conducting the study, researchers compiled surveys about bullying from more than 7,300 ninth graders and about 3,000 teachers at 284 Virginia high schools.
  • The researchers pointed out that even a 3 percent to 6 percent drop in test scores associated with bullying is significant.

The researchers argued the poor academic performance was due to the fact that students are less engaged in learning when they are afraid about bullying.  They also suggested bullying leads to a greater level of school disorder, which may have negatively affected test scores.

Source: "Bullying Takes Toll on High School Test Scores," Yahoo! News, August 8, 2011.


Browse more articles on Education Issues