AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF A PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM ON SCHOOL CLIMATE
Physical Education (PE) Works was a New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) initiative active from 2015 to 2019. The program sought to help all K-12 schools in Districts 1-32 meet NYS Physical Education requirements. This included operational and instructional support, as well as updated guidelines for PE best practices and benchmarks. The Capstone Team hypothesized that increasing the quality and quantity of PE instruction in schools has a positive impact on student achievement and school climate. The Team analyzed the impacts of the PE Works Initiative, filling a gap in the research literature by drawing a connection between PE, student behavior, and overall school climate. Due to the staggered, randomized rollout of the initiative, the team first utilized data from NYC Open Data and NYC DOE’s archives to estimate causal impacts, and then analyzed data in a two-way fixed effects regression model to identify the overall treatment effect of the PE Works Initiative. The final report presents findings and conclusions, describing an initial examination of the causal impact of improved PE on student achievement and school climate, and offers suggestions for future research directions.