ERIC Number: ED439213
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Social Support, Academic Press, and Student Achievement: A View from the Middle Grades in Chicago. Improving Chicago's Schools. A Report of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project.
Lee, Valerie E.; Smith, Julia B.; Perry, Tamara E.; Smylie, Mark A.
This report focuses on the relationships of student social support and school academic press to gains in student academic achievement in the Chicago public schools. Social support refers to personal relationships students have with people in and out of school who may help them do well, and academic press refers to the extent to which school members, including students and teachers, experience a strong emphasis on academic success and conformity to specific standards of achievement. Analyses of citywide survey data and achievement test scores of sixth and eighth grades in Chicago reveal that levels of both social support and school academic press are positively related to student achievement in reading and mathematics. Survey data came from 28,318 sixth and eighth graders and more than 5,000 teachers in Chicago elementary and middle schools. Regardless of the background characteristics of students and the demographic characteristics of their schools, when either support or press is strong and the other is weak, students learn less. The report pairs these findings with examples from fieldwork that illustrate steps schools can take to strengthen both support and academic press. Findings challenge proposals for school reform that view academic focus and rigor and social support as contradictory strategies. To succeed in schools that press them hard, students need strong social support. Conversely, even in the presence of strong social support, students will not learn much unless schools press them to achieve academically. (Contains 5 figures and 41 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Achievement Gains, Educational Environment, Elementary School Teachers, Interpersonal Relationship, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Social Support Groups, Test Results, Urban Schools
Consortium on Chicago School Research, 1313 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 ($10). Tel: 773-702-3364; Fax: 773-702-2010; Web site: http://www.consortium-chicago.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Consortium on Chicago School Research, IL.