Health, Well-Being, and Education in an Urban School District

Baltimore City Public Schools Prior to the Implementation of the 21st Century Buildings Program

by Kata Mihaly, Tamara Dubowitz, Andrea Richardson, Gabriella C. Gonzalez

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Research Questions

  1. What is the relationship between students' perception of school climate, student health and well-being, and student education outcomes?
  2. What is the relationship between teachers' perceptions of school climate, teacher health and well-being, and their students' education outcomes?
  3. What is the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and students' perceptions of school climate?

This report presents findings from the initial phase of a study to examine whether and how rebuilding and renovating of Baltimore City Public Schools buildings affects students, school staff, school conditions, and the surrounding community. The report summarizes findings on three sets of exploratory analyses that examine associations between factors that may be influenced by the school building conditions prior to the renovations taking place: (1) the relationship between students' perception of school climate, student health and well-being, and student education outcomes; (2) the relationship between teachers' perceptions of school climate, teacher health and well-being, and their students' education outcomes; and (3) the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and students' perceptions of school climate. We found that students' and teachers' perception of school climate was correlated with measures of mental health in both populations, and that students' physical and mental health is moderately correlated with education outcomes, in particular with thinking about dropping out of school. We found no statistically significant correlations between teacher physical and mental health and student education outcomes, nor were we able to identify statistically significant relationships between our measures of neighborhood quality and students' assessment of the school climate.

Key Findings

Perceptions of School Climate, Student Health Have Effects

  • Students' and teachers' perception of school climate was correlated with measures of mental health in both populations.
  • Students' physical and mental health is moderately correlated with education outcomes, in particular with thinking about dropping out of school.
  • We found no statistically significant correlations between teacher physical and mental health and student education outcomes.
  • We were unable to identify statistically significant relationships between our measures of neighborhood quality and students' assessment of the school climate.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Background and Conceptual Framework

  • Chapter Three

    Sample Characteristics and Data Sources

  • Chapter Four

    Exploratory Analysis of Baseline Data

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusions and Future Work

  • Appendix A

    Elementary and High School Student Survey

  • Appendix B

    School Staff Survey

  • Appendix C

    Principal Survey and Interview Protocol

  • Appendix D

    School Observation Tool

  • Appendix E

    Street Segment Audit Tool

Research conducted by

This research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and conducted within RAND Health and RAND Education.

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