Walking a Fine Line

School Climate Surveys in State ESSA Plans

Published in: FutureEd (2019)

Posted on RAND.org on December 12, 2019

by Phyllis W. Jordan, Laura S. Hamilton

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School climate and student engagement have emerged as key elements in promoting academic success. Recognizing this, the drafters of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) required states to include non-academic factors in judging schools' performance. Three-quarters of the states added student absenteeism to their accountability systems as part of the School Quality and Student Success indicator. But in a trend that has received much less attention, 13 states have chosen to gauge school climate and student engagement through annual surveys of students, teachers and parents.

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