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Policy Changes and School Climate: An Analysis of the NAEP School Questionnaire (1987-1988) NAEP

Bernstein, Lawrence
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Educational Environment, Educational Policy, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Questionnaires, Urban Schools


This study is an analysis of the NAEP School Questionnaire administered across three grade levels (4, 8, and 12) during the 1987-1988 school year. The data obtained from the school questionnaires represent one level of NAEP's data collection activities, in addition to the teacher questionnaires and the various student assessments. The analysis was based on an investigation of the relationships between policy changes and school climate, measured both by a composite scaled score and individual questionnaire items, and individual grouping variables defining school poverty, school size, community type and ethnicity. The results showed a fairly consistent pattern of relationships among policy changes and school climate both in terms of how schools ranked on the various grouping dimensions and the results of Analysis of Variance and Chi Square statistical tests. In terms of policy change, reported changes tended to occur more frequently in large, urban disadvantaged schools with predominantly nonWhite populations. Similarly, the reporting of school-related problems such as absenteeism and tardiness comprising the school climate score tended to be more prevalent in bigger city schools containing large minority and less advantaged populations. These results suggest that reform is taking place in those schools where it is most needed. (55pp.)

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