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IES Grant

Title: Cleveland Alliance for School Climate Research
Center: NCER Year: 2017
Principal Investigator: Voight, Adam Awardee: Cleveland State University
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (07/01/17–06/30/19) Award Amount: $398,386
Award Number: R305H170068
Description:

Co-Principal Investigators: Denine Goolsby and Christopher Broughton (Cleveland Metropolitan School District)

Partners: Cleveland State University, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), and the American Institutes for Research

Purpose: CMSD has administered a school climate survey to secondary students for the last eight years. Under this project, researchers will use the data from that survey to explore the relationship between secondary school climate and student outcomes (social and behavioral competencies and academic ones) overall and for certain student subgroups within schools.

Partnership Activities: The partnership will analyze secondary data (including both a climate survey and student achievement and behavioral data) to address two questions: (1) What is the relationship between school-average student survey reports of school climate and school average standardized test scores and course grades, days of attendance, and suspensions? and (2) within the same school, do certain subgroups of students systematically provide different reports of school climate than others? The team will conduct focus group interviews with students, school staff members, and parents to identify explanations for the quantitative findings on these two questions.

Setting: The project will take place in Cleveland, Ohio.

Population/Sample: Students in grades 5–11 in all middle and high schools from 2008–09 through the 2016–17 school year in CMSD.

Initial Research: The researchers will combine data from several sources:

  • the Conditions for Learning Survey (CFL), a survey of school climate given three times a year;
  • administrative data on student performance on the Measures of Academic Progress (a series of assessments developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association) for math, reading, and science;
  • administrative data on attendance and suspensions; and
  • administrative data on student characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, school mobility, receipt of EL services, and median income of census track).

The researchers will use the data to carry out two analyses. The first analysis will examine the relationship between school-average student survey reports of school climate and school-average standardized test scores, days of attendance, and suspensions. The second analysis will examine whether within the same school, certain subgroups systematically provide different reports on school climate. District personnel will then carry out qualitative research (involving students, parents, and teachers) to understand the differences at schools found to have large subgroup differences versus schools with no subgroup differences. The partnership will analyze the qualitative data together.

Outcomes: The outcomes of the partnership include the following:

  • increased capacity of CMSD to use the results from its annual survey of school climate;
  • presentations, briefings, and publications on the perceptions of school climate by students, the links between school climate and student education outcomes, and a better understanding of differences between subgroup perceptions of school climate within schools;
  • a basis for further research on school climate.

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