The Relationship Between School Division Climate and Student Achievement of School Divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Smith, James Joseph
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Researchers and reformers have suggested that school climate is an important aspect of effective schools (Hoy & Hannum, 1997, p. 290). Literature also suggests that effective schools have a positive school climate (Chrispeels, 1990). The purpose of this study is to determine if the climate of schools affects the student achievement in school divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The construct study conducted herein relies exclusively upon data collected by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and reported in the Discipline, Crime and Violence Incidents annual report (DCVI), the Free and Reduced Lunch report, and the Truancy report to form a climate index (CI). A Hierarchical Cluster analysis was used to determine relationships between school division climate, as measured by the CI, and student achievement, as measured by the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests, in school divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Based on the CI, there is a relationship between school division climate and student achievement in English/reading, mathematics, history/social science, and science in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Moreover, incidents of disorderly conduct combined with the number of students who receive free and reduced lunch are the best predictors of student achievement.
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