A Secondary Data Analysis of Academic and Fitness Benefits for Colorado High/Middle School Students

A Secondary Data Analysis of Academic and Fitness Benefits for Colorado High/Middle School Students

Author: 
Scott A. Bell
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
Some studies have shown a link between physical fitness and performance in the classroom for students at various levels of education all the way through university level students and adults. The purpose of this quantitative secondary data analysis research study was to determine whether schools that incorporate physical fitness in the daily routine of middle and high schools students, ages 11 to 18, differ from schools that do not incorporate daily physical fitness on their students’ ability to be academically successful. Fifty-five schools were randomly selected in the state of Colorado at the middle and high school levels to examine academic performance on the Colorado State standardized tests during the academic year of 2014-2015. The schools annotated whether the school had mandatory physical fitness programs for all students or if the school did not have these programs. While results of the study showed a slight positive trend for high school level students whose schools that had mandatory physical fitness programs, in that the standardized test scores had a higher average than students who attended high schools that did not have the programs, this difference did not reach statistical significance. For middle school students, the researcher discovered the data did not show a significant difference either way. This researcher was limited by available data, the lack of science test scores tracked that year, and lack of individual level data since the study included minors. Recommendations for future research include exploring the research questions with college students and nationalized standardized test as the dependent variable.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my family, friends, and special people who never let me quit. First, I want to thank my wife Jackie and children Andy and Katie who have stuck with me through countless ups and downs, endless hours waiting for me to finish the papers that were due and more importantly, the unwavering love and support they have showed me during the darkest hours of angst that this journey has taken me on. I will forever be thankful for your support. My mom and dad who never held me back and let me explore the world and all it had to offer. My sister Dori, brother-in-law Todd, niece Brittany, and nephew Brandon who have supported my family and me during long months of deployments. My in-laws who gave me the greatest gift of all, their daughter. My brother-in-law Bobby, sister-in-law Maureen, niece Sara, and nephews Joey and Ryan, thank you for the many laughs along the way. My best friend Jim, you helped me make the decision to go back and finish this thing, thanks for the kick when I needed it most. And to everyone else who has inspired me to keep going, even those that called me crazy (yes Matt, I am talking about you), you all never stopped believing in me, thank you.
Acknowledgements: 
I want to thank my dissertation committee. Dr. Scott Burrus, you are my Jerry Maguire, you are my Ambassador of Quan, or in this case, my dissertation. You took on this project and supported me in a manner that I never thought was possible. You were always there to answer a call, text, or email and provided the guidance I needed when I needed it. Dr. Paula Wolfe, your straight forward, no nonsense feedback was just what I needed to get me back on track. Dr. Rob Olding, thanks for jumping in with this group and giving me advice and support. Jeff Hendrickson, Kent Blumberg, and John Ramirez, who knew that a simple LinkedIn invitation only months ago would wind up with a completed dissertation, thank you for dealing with me when I was a bit cranky and listening to my story. That alone can never be repaid. My mentors Lt Gen Chris Miller, Dr. Joe Sanders, Dr. Jeanne Heidler, Brig Gen Mark Wells, and Dr. John Abbatiello. I still have no idea what I did to gain your trust, your support, your wisdom, and your mentorship. I am very lucky man to have even had the honor to spend even five minutes with each of you. General Miller, you provided stability to my family, Dr. Sanders, another guy who gave me a kick right where I needed and when I needed it, Dr. Heidler for always listening, meeting me for coffee and providing incredible advice. And to General Wells and Dr. Abbatiello, you both took a chance on a Navy guy that had never taught in the classroom before and gave me one of the greatest tours I had in my entire career. I loved that job and only hope I did you both proud as historians. Thank you all for getting me to this point. I never thought this would ever happen.