A Climate for Academic Success: How School Climate Distinguishes Schools That are Beating the Odds RCC


By Voight, A., Austin, G., Hanson, T.

California Comprehensive Center at WestEd

Publication 2013
School Climate Report Cover

Positive school climate has been associated with better student academic achievement, graduation, and behavioral outcomes, and has been the focus of several recent initiatives for school reform. This study explores the climate of secondary schools with extraordinary success compared to other, including consistently underperforming, schools. The sample for this analysis included 1,714 California secondary schools that administered the CA Healthy Kids Survey, a project of the CA Department of Education. Researchers also examined data on personnel resources and school demographic data (e.g., racial composition, proportion of students receiving free or reduced-price meals). Academic performance indicators were accessed through the California Standardized Testing and Reporting program.

The study analyzes reported differences in school climate by students in successful versus unsuccessful schools and how school climate and personnel resources are related to academic success. It concludes with practical implications of these findings for improving the academic performance of schools

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