A study from Israel finds that random fluctuations in air pollution on test days can have lasting consequences throughout students’ lives.
Random Events Affect Testing Outcomes As Much As Teacher Influence
The Washington Post (11/5, Ehrenfreund) “Wonkblog” reports a new study shows that “random events during an exam can” affect test results, career options, and income for the remainder of a student’s life. The authors study showed that an event like a small increase in air pollution could affect students’ incomes by 2 percent. The study is based on Israeli students who took the Bagrut. The study finds that while air pollution had “a negligible effect on” student test scores, the small fluctuation “had major consequences for” student careers.” The research also found that effects from random events like pollution “are about as strong” as research on teacher effectiveness, leading to some interesting policy implications associated with student performance and teacher evaluations.