“School climate can be measured with the same rigor as academic achievement:” Coalition Comes Togeth

June 10, 2010 | Written By:

By Laura Fillenwarth


On June 15, the National Collaboration for Youth will host a briefing on Capitol Hill on School Climate and Academic Achievement: using data to improve conditions for learning and youth outcomes.

The briefing will show that school climate can be measured with the same rigor as academic achievement and will reinforce the idea that school climate is an issue that is not limited to one model, approach or framework.  In connection with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESEA, the briefing will discuss how school climate data can be measured and utilized to improve student performance.


On a similar note, the National Collaboration for Youth is also advocating for a minimum of $410 million for the Successful, Safe and Healthy Students program to be included in the FY 2011 Labor/HHS/Ed Appropriations bill. HSC is also supportive of this initiative.


As outlined in the President’s FY 2011 budget, the Successful, Safe and Healthy Students program at the U.S. Department of Education will increase the capacity of states and local education agencies to create safe, supportive, healthy, and drug?free school environments. With it, schools would improve school climate by:

  • reducing drug use, violence, bullying, or harassment
  • increasing students' physical health and well?being through nutrition, physical activity, and fitness
  • and strengthening students' mental health and well?being through the use of counseling, health and mental health services, and social services.

As the National Collaboration for Youth writes in its letter to Senators Harkin and Cochran:

A positive school climate is essential to student academic achievement, health and well-being. By establishing school climate standards and measuring school climate with the same scientific rigor used to measure academic achievement, schools can identify problem areas and promote concrete changes in curriculum and instruction, co-curricular programs, support services, and community partnerships that are essential to great teaching and learning.

Speakers at the June 15 hearing will include Dr. Peter Benson, President of Search Institute; Dr. Shane Lopez, Senior Scientist at Gallup and architect of the Gallup Student Poll; Dr. Jonathan Cohen, President of Center for Social and Emotional Education (CSEE) and Co-Chair of the National School Climate Council; among others.

In the DC area? Learn more or RSVP for the briefing here

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