Date of Award

Spring 1-20-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Reid, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Erick Alfonso, Ed.D.


education policy, education administration, academic achievement, physical activity, physical education


Physical activity can meaningfully influence educational outcomes. However, physical activity among youth remains insufficient according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2018), where 3 in 4 youths aged 11– 17 do not meet the worldwide guidelines for physical activity. Youth who are not physically active are more likely to have increased body mass index (BMI), childhood obesity, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and additional physical health conditions (Bartelink et al., 2019, Bélair et al., 2018, Krebs, 2003).

School-sponsored physical education is one way for students to participate in physical activity. However, many school administrators respond to pressures of increasing core curriculum standardized student test scores by cutting down on student access to physical education, and instead, provide more time to core curriculum subjects such as math and reading (Center on Education Policy, 2007, 2008). This study explored the concepts of physical activity and education through associations between physical education policies and academic achievement on standardized tests. National standardized test results were examined alongside physical education policies through a fixed effects panel data analysis. Findings enhance the limited literature on overall school physical activity, physical education, and associations with academic achievement. Recommendations are offered for school administrators, higher education stakeholders, community partners, and policy advocates on how their efforts may contribute to promotion of student physical activity and support academic achievement.

Available for download on Friday, April 30, 2027