High schools that succeed athletically are not necessarily punting on their academic success, according to an analysis in the current issue of Journal of Research in Education.
Researchers from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville examined data from 657 public high schools in Ohio over a five-year span. They found that “a school’s commitment to athletics is positively related to academic success,” according to the analysis. An increase of 10 percentage points in a school’s overall winning athletic percentage was associated with a 1.3-percentage-point increase in an estimate of its high school graduation rate.
Football produced the largest impact of any sport, but each sport analyzed independently yielded “a positive, significant effect,” the authors found.
The analysis also found that the estimated graduation rate of a high school rose by 0.3 percentage points for every new sport added.
A version of this article appeared in the February 20, 2013 edition of Education Week as School Sports