Send to

Choose Destination
Indoor Air. 2016 Aug;26(4):546-57. doi: 10.1111/ina.12241. Epub 2015 Oct 15.

Do classroom ventilation rates in California elementary schools influence standardized test scores? Results from a prospective study.

Author information

Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA.
Environmental Health Laboratory Branch, California Department of Public Health, Richmond, CA, USA.
Integral Ad Science, New York, NY, USA.
Group in Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA.


Limited evidence has associated lower ventilation rates (VRs) in schools with reduced student learning or achievement. We analyzed longitudinal data collected over two school years from 150 classrooms in 28 schools within three California school districts. We estimated daily classroom VRs from real-time indoor carbon dioxide measured by web-connected sensors. School districts provided individual-level scores on standard tests in Math and English, and classroom-level demographic data. Analyses assessing learning effects used two VR metrics: average VRs for 30 days prior to tests, and proportion of prior daily VRs above specified thresholds during the year. We estimated relationships between scores and VR metrics in multivariate models with generalized estimating equations. All school districts had median school-year VRs below the California VR standard. Most models showed some positive associations of VRs with test scores; however, estimates varied in magnitude and few 95% confidence intervals excluded the null. Combined-district models estimated statistically significant increases of 0.6 points (P = 0.01) on English tests for each 10% increase in prior 30-day VRs. Estimated increases in Math were of similar magnitude but not statistically significant. Findings suggest potential small positive associations between classroom VRs and learning.


Achievement; Children; Indoor air quality; Learning; Schools; Ventilation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center