The impact of extracurricular activities on student achievement at the high school level

Steven Wesley Craft

Abstract

The pressure applied on public schools to increase test scores and student achievement are reaching the highest levels ever seen in the United States. School systems are trying to find ways to increase student achievement while dealing with severe budget cuts. Many school systems are exploring the possibility of decreasing or suspending funding for extracurricular activities. This study explored the relationship between student achievement and participation in extracurricular activities. The study focused on the impact that participation in extracurricular activities had grade point average, absentee rate, SAT scores, and success on the Georgia High School Graduation Test. In order to test each research question, extracurricular activities was divided into three areas: participation in sports, school music programs, and school clubs. The study found that students that participate in extracurricular activities have slightly higher grade point averages, SAT scores, success on the Georgia High School Graduation Writing Test, and miss fewer days of schools.