School Cimate Surveys
What is School Climate?
School Climate is the learning environment created through the interaction of human relationships, physical setting and psychological atmosphere. (Perkins, 2006)
Why is school climate important?
Perceptions about school climate impact teacher morale and student achievement. Positive school climate benefits students, teachers, and staff. Teachers are motivated to teach, students are motivated to learn (Bulach, 1994).
What is the relevance of school climate to "Race to the Top"?
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need. Through Race to the Top, the Department of Education is asking States to advance reforms around four specific areas:
Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;
- Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;
- Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
- Turning around our lowest-achieving schools.
Awards in Race to the Top will go to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform. Race to the Top winners will help trail-blaze effective reforms and provide examples for States and local school districts throughout the country to follow as they too are hard at work on reforms that can transform our nation’s schools for decades to come.
States can use Race to the Top funds to use the American School Climate survey and the Climate Improvement Process (CLIP) efforts to improve school climate. The Education Department has created a new priority in Race to the Top’s Invitational Priority Number Six. The Education Department is “particularly interested” in applications in which a state’s LEAs (Local Education Agencies) “create the conditions for reform and innovation … by providing schools with flexibility and autonomy in … creating school climates and cultures that remove obstacles to, and actively support, student engagement and achievement.”* In discussing this new invitational priority, the education department noted, “We acknowledge that positive behavioral interventions and supports … are important to consider in ensuring that students have a safe and productive environment in which to learn.”** States interested in including the Climate Improvement Process should include their plans in their Race to the Top applications under Invitational Priority Number Six.
The ASC™ survey Version 2.5 was used in a national study of over 40,000 students (Grades 4-12), approximately 4,000 teachers and approximately 300 administrators. National results are available for comparison and benchmarking. The ASC™ survey is currently available in five (5) languages; English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Haitian Creole. Districts may also arrange for an online administration. Reports from the online administration are available within 10 business days.
Currently under revision, the next version of the survey is scheduled for use in the National School Climate Survey 2010 with over 100,000 participants. Results from that study are scheduled for release in the first half of 2011.
* US DEP’T OF EDUC., RACE TO THE TOP: APPLICATION FOR INITIAL FUNDING, 90-91 (2009).
** 74 Fed. Reg. 59688, 59707 (Nov. 18, 2009).
This 25 question survey is designed to collect information on the views and perspectives of students (Grades 4-12) regarding their school learning climate, bullying and perceptions on race. Back to Top
School Climate is the learning environment created through the interaction of human relationships, physical setting and psychological atmosphere. (Perkins, 2006) Back to Top
American School Climate (ASC™) Survey—Administrator Version 2.5
This 25 question survey is designed to collect information on the views and perspectives of teachers regarding the school learning climate, bullying and attitudes on professional development. Back to Top
American School Climate (ASC™) Survey—Community Version 2.5
This 25 question survey is designed to collect information on the views and perspectives of community members regarding the school learning climate, bullying and perceptions on local school effectiveness. Back to Top