Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Impact of School Climate on Student Achievement in the Middle Schools of the Commonwealth of Virginia: A Quantitative Analysis of Existing Data
by Bergren, David Alexander, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2014, 242; 3615518
Abstract (Summary)

This quantitative study was designed to be an analysis of the relationship between school climate and student achievement through the creation of an index of climate-factors (SES, discipline, attendance, and school size) for which publicly available data existed. The index that was formed served as a proxy measure of climate; it was analyzed through both a hierarchical clustering method and a multiple regression.

The data used for the study was drawn from a sample of 335 middle schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and student achievement was measured using pass percentage rates for each school on the Virginia SOL tests in each of the four tested content areas. Through analysis of the data generated through both the cluster analysis and the multiple regression process, a clearer picture of the relationship between school climate and student achievement was revealed. Five clusters of schools emerged from the cluster analysis, ranging from highly negative to highly positive in terms of climate. Findings indicated that for each of the four core content areas, there was a significant difference in the mean achievement of each cluster; these findings supported the general hypothesis of the study that as climate becomes more positive student achievement rises. Further, the multiple regression analysis supported the findings of the cluster analysis. With regard to the variables used as climate factors, both the cluster analysis and the multiple regression analysis showed that school size had the least impact on achievement whereas SES had the greatest impact. In both analyses, the climate factors reflected a more significant relationship to student achievement when examined collectively.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lemasters, Linda K.
Commitee: Dannels, Sharon A., Soltner, Eugene F.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Middle School education, School administration
Keywords: Attendance, Climate, Cluster analysis, Culture, Discipline, Socioeconomic status
Publication Number: 3615518
ISBN: 978-1-303-81537-9
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