School violence lowers test scores, not grades

School crime and academic achievement

Researcher Julia Burdick-Will studied crime reports from Chicago police and records from the Chicago school department: “It seems obvious that having fights in schools is not a good thing for achievement, but it’s a really difficult thing to show.” Crime affects learning, not necessarily grades.

Violent crime rates in schools have a negative effect on test scores but not on grades, according to a study by Julia Burdick-Will, a postdoctoral research associate in the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. Published this month in Sociology of Education, the study analyzed police and school records in Chicago from 2002 to 2010.