Report Roundup

Achievement Gap

"Effects of Ambient Noise on the Measurement of Mathematics Achievement for Urban High School Students"

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Environmental noise in urban classrooms can take a toll on students' math test scores, finds a study in Urban Education.

Researchers tested 122 students, ages 14 to 18 and overwhelmingly low-income, in an urban district using an adaptive computer-based math assessment. While the students were tested, the researchers tracked ambient sounds in and near the classroom—phones ringing, conversations in the halls, and pounding on walls among them.

The researchers found average noise levels during the two days of testing was more than 62 decibels, nearly double the 35 decibels recommended for classrooms, and at times, it went as high as 85 decibels. Researchers found the more students reported the noise bothered them, the lower their math scores. They found stress from noise accounted for 10 percent of the overall difference in students' math scoresequal to the difference made by students' prior grade point averages.

Vol. 35, Issue 13, Page 5

Published in Print: December 2, 2015, as Achievement Gap
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories