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.