Extracurricular Activities and their Impact on Standardized Test Scores: A Case Study

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With the emphasis on standardized testing, since No Child Left Behind legislation was enacted, concerns have arisen regarding the impact extra curricula activities might have on student test scores. Numerous studies have proven the benefits of extracurricular activities far outweigh the time they take from the student’s scholastic activities. Yet many oppose such activities as athletics, arguing that extracurricular activities have a harmful and detrimental effect on students. The purpose of this study was to document the scores students received on the Iowa Basic Skills Test and the Arkansas, End of Course Math and Literacy Exams at the 8th through 12th grade and then compare and correlate scores with involvement in extracurricular activities. A case study approach was used since data from only one school was available. Permission was granted by the school administration to review the test data for the study. The school’s counselor, federal programs director and several faculty assisted in securing test scores and records of extra curricula activities for 126 students. The school’s student population was 375, grades K-12. Results of a Paired Sample T-Test indicate that being involved in athletics and multiple extracurricular activities had a significantly negative impact on the End of Course Math scores. Also math scores and tennis had a significantly negative correlation with Cheerleading. The End of Course Literature scores had significantly negative correlation with bowling and participation on the annual staff. Membership in the Spanish Club had a significantly positive impact on math scores. The math scores of the Iowa Basic Skills Test for 2006 had a significant negative correlation with Basketball, Spanish Club, FBLA, and FCCLA. These findings challenge the benefits of extracurricular activities and suggest further research should be conducted to determine if the results are consistent.


Keywords: Standardized Test Scores, Extracurricular Activities, Math, Literacy
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Morgan Ruff

Agricultural Instructor, Weiner High School
Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA

Mr. Morgan Ruff has taught agriculture for five years in Arkansas. He hold a B.S. Degree and a M.S. Degree in Agricultural Education from Arkansas State University. He currently teaches at Weiner High School in Weiner Arkansas, U.S.A.

Dr. David Agnew

Associate Professor, College of Agriculture, Arkansas State University
State University, Arkansas, USA

Dr. David Agnew is Associate Professor of Agricultural Education at Arkansas State University in the U.S. where he has been on faculty for 17 years. He taught at the secondary level for five years in Tennessee and has been on faculty at Montana State University and the University of Nebraska. He is currently involved in preservice preparation of secondary teachers of agriculture, certification of adult educators and career educators. Dr. Agnew is also State Co-Director of Arkansas Food Land and People. He has conducted research and has presented and published in the areas of agricultural literacy, leadership and career education.

Ref: L08P0459