student variables. The one consistent variable was student achievement as measured by some form of standardized or normed test.
Berner (1993) investigated the relationship between parental involvement, school building condition, and student achievement in the public schools of Washington, D.C. She hypothesized that the condition of public school buildings is affected by parental involvement and that the condition of the school building in turn affects student achievement. Using a regression model that included variables for race and household income, she analyzed relationships among the size and condition of school buildings, the extent of parental involvement, and the amount of funds parents raised for the local school and compared the results with student achievement as measured using average test scores on the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS).
Berner found that school size, parental involvement, and building condition did have an effect on student achievement scores. The analysis indicated that student test scores increased an average of 5 percent as the condition category of school buildings improved from poor to fair condition and from fair to excellent condition. Thus, students in buildings that rated as poor had test scores that were, on average, 5 percent lower than students in school buildings categorized as fair and 10 percent lower than students in buildings categorized as excellent.
Cash (1993) investigated the relationship between certain school building conditions, student achievement, and student behavior in rural high schools in Virginia. Cash essentially used the same methodology as Berner, although in this study the condition of the building was the independent variable, and student achievement and behavior served as dependent variables. The condition of school buildings was evaluated by local school system personnel using a questionnaire which was derived from previous studies that showed a positive relationship between a particular building condition and student achievement and behavior. The factors that were looked at included air-conditioning, classroom illumination, temperature control, classroom color, graffiti, science equipment and utilities, paint schedules, roof adequacy, classroom windows, floor type, building age, supporting facilities, condition of school grounds, and furniture condition. The presence or absence of these factors or, in some cases, their quality or adequacy determined the condition category of the building: substandard, standard, and above standard.
Student achievement was measured by student test scores on the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), which was administered to all eleventh-graders in Virginia. The ratio of students receiving free and reduced lunches was used to control for socioeconomic status, and the Virginia Composite Index was used as a measure of local fiscal capacity, to control for the wealth of the school jurisdiction.