Skip to main content

Climate Change: Creating an Integrated Framework for Improving School Climate


This report is the first in a series that analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) to determine how this data can be used to support effective high school reform, with a particular focus on the nation’s lowest-performing high schools. To read the other reports All4Ed’s series on practices and policies to create a positive school climate, check out the full Climate Change series, available below.

Using data from the CRDC, Climate Change: Creating an Integrated Framework for Improving School Climate finds that schools that struggle most with providing a positive school climate more often disproportionately serve students of color and low-income students. It also confirms that students of color and students from low-income families are less likely to have access to rigorous coursework and experienced teachers, and are more likely to be suspended than their white and wealthier peers. 

Based on this analysis, the report posits that school discipline, curriculum, and teaching are interconnected and any effort to address one issue will be limited unless the other two are addressed as well. When addressed as a whole, these issues make up school climate.

Climate Change Series

January 22, 2015

Publication | Data, High Schools, Opportunity to Learn

Climate Change Series: Federal, State, and Local Policy Recommendations for Creating a Positive School Climate

School climate, is connected to students’ engagement in their coursework and, consequently, to their success. All4Ed offers policy recommendations for creating a positive school environment.
Read More

September 19, 2013

Publication | Opportunity to Learn

Climate Change: Implementing School Discipline Practices That Create a Positive School Climate

Middle and high school students subjected to harsh school discipline policies and practices such as suspensions and expulsions are more likely to disengage from the classroom and coursework and, ultimately, drop out of school.
Read More

November 21, 2013

Publication | Opportunity to Learn, Other Priorities

Climate Change: Providing Equitable Access to a Rigorous and Engaging Curriculum

Rigorous and engaging curriculum aligned with college- and career-ready standards fosters positive school climates in which students are motivated to succeed, achievement gaps narrow, and learning and outcomes improve.
Read More

September 18, 2014

Publication | Data, Educator Policy, Opportunity to Learn

Climate Change: Improving School Climate by Supporting Great Teaching

Many low-income students and students of color lack access to great teaching that supports a positive school environment.
Read More