Park Studies Effects of Global Warming on Student Learning

Assistant Professor of Public Policy Jisung Park discussed the effect of warming global temperatures on student learning in an NPR interview. Park and his colleagues analyzed data from 10 million U.S. students over 15 years to explore the relationship between climate change and student academic performance. Park found that “students who experience a hotter than average year —  let’s say a year with five more school days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit — appeared to experience reduced learning.” A one-degree-Fahrenheit increase in average temperature in a given year reduces learning on average by around 1%,  he said. But his research showed that the same temperature change disproportionately impacts underrepresented minorities by closer to 2% or 3%. Park added that infrastructure affects student academic performance, explaining that “the effect of heat on learning is much smaller in schools that report having adequate air conditioning.”


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