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6 Ways School Maintenance Directly Impacts Education

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Week! To celebrate, the facility maintenance management experts at ManagerPlus have identified six aspects of our education system that are directly impacted by school maintenance and facility condition.

The following are based on a comprehensive report by the 21st Century School Fund, which aggregates numerous studies on the impact of well-maintained, new, and up-to-date facilities on quality of education in the United States. The studies featured in the report focused on key variables such as teacher retention, student discipline, and test scores in order to isolate the effect that facility condition has on each of these measures.

Here are six of the key findings from these studies:

1. Retention. Teachers are 5% more likely to stay working for a school whose facilities conditions are rated “A” versus “F”, according to one study.

2. Attitudes. Evidence suggests that facility condition has a significant impact on teacher attitudes—the better the condition of the facilities, the more positive teachers are about their work.

3. Discipline. There is a correlation between physical disorder and social disorder. Dilapidated facilities are associated with higher rates of discipline problems.  This effect extends to behavioral problems such as truancy, and cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use.

4. Instruction. A third of the schools surveyed in one study reported at least one significant facility-related issue that interfered with their ability to deliver proper instruction. Rates were slightly higher for portable facilities.

5. Graduation Rates.  One study indicated that facility condition may account for as much as 4-9% of the difference in graduation rates between the schools in the study.

6. Test Scores.  Another study concluded that there is a “measurable effect over and above socioeconomic conditions on student achievement and teacher experience/turnover.” The study found that a 10% reduction in the use of portable facilities correlated to an average test score increase of 11 points. The majority of the studies included in the 21st Century School Fund support the conclusion that facility condition has a significant, measurable impact on student and teacher performance.

The data make it clear: facility condition has a direct impact on quality of education. A robust computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) platform can help keep these educational facilities up to speed and ensure that students and teachers are focused on learning and performing at the highest level.

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