The Impact of Bullying Climate on Schoolwide Academic Performance

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Virginia Youth Violence Project

The pervasiveness of bullying has an effect on the academic performance of students, according to findings from the Virginia Youth Violence Project.

VYVP produced a report this month on the correlation between bullying at Virginia schools and the academic performance as shown through school-wide passing rates on Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in algebra I, earth science and world history. 

For each exam, separate regression analyses were conducted by taking into account student demographic variables, bullying victimization and lastly bullying climate, to see which factors affected the exam scores the greatest.

In all the SOL tests, the report said, bullying climate was proven to have a significant effect on the scores. Schools with high bullying climates had 88.6 percent, 83.8 percent and 86.9 percent passing rates on Algebra1, earth science and world history respectively, while scores for medium bullying climate schools were 89.9 percent, 85.6 percent and 88.6 percent. Low bullying climate schools had the highest passing rates at 91.7 percent, 88.6 percent and 90.8 percent.

The statewide survey evaluated information from 7,304 ninth grade students and 2,918 teachers from 284 Virginia high schools, with 25 students and 10 teachers representing each school. SOL test results were evaluated in comparison to what students and teachers had to say about the extent of bullying at each school.  

All report subjects, teachers and students completed the Prevalence of Teasing and Bullying Scale performed by Cornell University in 2011. Using the average student and teacher score, bully climate was determined. 

Click here to read the report.