Is it true that "introducing an air purifier into the classroom raises the test"?


Is it true that "introducing an air purifier into the classroom raises the test"?


A surprising study published in January 2020 states that "school students who have introduced air purifiers have improved their performance." About the contents of this research,Columbia UniversityAndrew German, a statistician at the Center for Applied Statistics, explains.

No, I do n’t think that this study offers good evidence that installing air filters in classrooms has surprisingly large educational benefits. «Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science has-surprisingly-large-educational-benefits /

October 23, 2015, CaliforniaSan Fernando ValleyGas leak at a natural gas storage facility The turmoil caused air purifiers to be installed in all school classrooms within 5 miles of the leaked facility.


New York UniversityMichael Gillane, a professor of economics in the United States, surveyed the performance of students attending schools equipped with air purifiers,Air Filters, Pollution and Student Achievement”Was published in January 2020. Gillane stated in his dissertation,Discontinuous regression designWhen I analyzed the performance data of the school students who introduced the air purifier using, the achievement level was greatly improved, and my math and English grades were up. " Is a very cost-effective way to improve student performance. "

The contents of this paper areVox, The content of Gillan's announcement became a big topic.

However, in response to the paper, Prof. Gelman wrote on his blog, "I clicked on the link to the paper, but I can't believe it. I don't know at all how air pollution is related to the brain, Did not significantly improve the performance of the test, and it does not seem that the study in question provided a basis for the claim. "

Below is a graph showing the change in grades in mathematics (top) and English (bottom). The vertical axis shows the change in standard deviation of grades, and the horizontal axis shows the distance from the facility where the gas leaked to the school.

However, Professor Gelman said, “ If you exclude straight lines and curves from the graph and see the test scores and school-to-school variability, there is nothing surprising, '' he said in this data analysis because of the small sample size. He pointed out that we could not draw enough conclusions.

“ It's not meaningful given the context of the problem we're dealing with, '' says Germanman, referring to the analysis of the data in the discontinuous regression design, “ an important point in my case was that the air purifier It is not that the conclusion that the performance has improved was wrong ", but that" the analysis presented is not a basis for showing that claim ".

Dr. Gelman said the Vox article dealing with this paper was misleading, “ Just a little research did not yield any results, but there is no reason to stop the research But if you use that little research in an article, you should note that it didn't actually work. "

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