New Report: The Challenge of Assessing School Climate

Posted by on February 9, 2009

School climate: a critical component

An article in Education Leadership outlines ways that educators can assess their school’s climate, which a growing body of research has confirmed is crucial to students’ academic achievement and healthy development. “Although No Child Left Behind is full of rhetoric about the importance of character education and supportive learning environments,” the authors state, “it only requires accountability systems to measure reading, math, physical violence, and (recently) science scores. These are all meaningful indicators of education quality, but education policymakers have become increasingly aware that NCLB-type accountability is too narrowly focused.” School climate data, they argue, are not only complementary to academic assessments, but measure and support learning. They report that researchers and the National School Climate Council (2007) agree that four major factors shape school climate: safety, relationships, teaching and learning, and the institutional environment, and the article lists the dimensions of these four major factors, excerpted from the Center for Social and Emotional Education’s (CSEE) Comprehensive School Climate Inventory, for which they provide a link, as well as additional resources.

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