The study of more than 2 million Texas students found those who are physically fit did better on standardized tests, had better attendance records, and were not disciplined as often as their less-fit peers.
Although Taylor scored in the lowest tiers in fitness, test scores and attendance, behavioral problems were reported less often.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 6,500 schools in Texas; about 75 percent of schools in the state. The results reflect data for students grades 3 to 12.
The results are reported by county, and with no individual performance numbers. Counties are instead broken into three tiers for each category. Below is a summary of Taylor County's data:
- Body Fat: Lowest tier (students outside the "healthy fitness zone," measured by the FITNESSGRAM)
- Healthy Fitness Zone (6): Lowest tier (1.1% to 17.8% reached healthy fitness zones on at least 6 tests)
- Healthy Fitness Zone (1): Lowest tier (89.6% to 98.6% reached healthy fitness zones on at least 1 test)
- Attendance: Lowest tier (students in Taylor carry an attendance rate of somewhere between 91.9% and 95.5%)
- TAKS results: Lowest tier (based on minimum grade-specific standards on 2007-2008 TAKS tests)
- Negative school incidents: Lowest tier (schools reported among the least amount of disciplinary issues)
Socio-economic status, measured by the number of students who qualified for free and reduced lunches, was used as a control variable in the study.
Students in grades 3 to 12 are undergoing another round of FITNESSGRAM tests this spring, according to the Texas Education Agency.