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ERIC Number: ED519414
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 72
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-9845-0764-1
Student and Teacher Safety in Chicago Public Schools: The Roles of Community Context and School Social Organization
Steinberg, Matthew P.; Allensworth, Elaine; Johnson, David W.
Consortium on Chicago School Research
In schools across the country, students routinely encounter a range of safety issues--from overt acts of violence and bullying to subtle intimidation and disrespect. Though extreme incidents such as school shootings tend to attract the most attention, day-to-day incidents such as gossip, hallway fights, and yelling matches between teachers and students contribute to students' overall sense of safety and shape the learning climate in the school. Not surprisingly, schools serving students from high-crime, high-poverty areas find it particularly challenging to create safe, supportive learning environments. Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the subject of this report, is no exception. In many CPS schools, teachers, and students report feeling unsafe in hallways, classrooms, and the area just outside the school building. Yet, in many other Chicago schools--even some schools serving large populations of students from high-poverty, high-crime areas--students and teachers do feel safe. What distinguishes these schools? Two years ago, CPS leadership suggested an innovative method of addressing safety concerns in schools--creating and implementing a "culture of calm" initiative predicated on developing positive and engaging relationships between adults and children. Though not an evaluation of culture of calm, this report provides initial evidence about the potential promise of such a strategy. The report examines the internal and external conditions that matter for students' and teachers' feelings of safety. It shows how the external conditions around the school, and in students' backgrounds and home communities, strongly define the level of safety in schools. It then examines the extent to which factors under the control of schools--their social and organizational structure, and particularly the relationships among adults and students--mediate those external influences. Appendices include: (1) Student and Teacher Survey Responses; (2) Survey Measures Used in This Report; (3) Methodological Details on Statistical Models; and (4) Models of Safety by Neighborhood and School Context. (Contains 13 tables, 17 figures and 55 endnotes.)
Consortium on Chicago School Research. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-702-3364; Fax: 773-702-2010; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation
Authoring Institution: Consortium on Chicago School Research
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
IES Cited: ED565615; ED544799; ED544800