Friday, January 17, 2020

Air Supply

Following the 2015 Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, the Los Angeles Unified School District installed air filters in every classroom and common area in all schools within five miles of the facility. Air testing found that the schools never actually endured higher levels of pollution, but a subsequent study about the impact of the air filters was shocking compared to schools outside the immediate area of impact: math scores went up by 0.2 standard deviations and English scores increased by 0.18 standard deviations, an increase that held even after accounting for student demographics and controlling for pollution levels at home. That’s an enormous pop linked to a small HVAC fix that costs just a few hundred dollars: for perspective, cutting class size by one third has been linked to a 0.22 standard deviation improvement.

-- NumLock News, 9 January 2020, reporting on a story by Matthew Yglesias, Vox, 8 January 2020

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