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ERIC Number: ED533561
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
Changing the School Climate Is the First Step to Reform in Many Schools with Federal Improvement Grants
McMurrer, Jennifer
Center on Education Policy
School Improvement Grants (SIGs) financed through the economic stimulus package are intended to spur dramatic change in persistently low-performing schools. Many state and local officials charged with implementing SIGs view the creation of a safe, orderly, collegial, and productive school climate as an essential step in raising student achievement, according to case studies by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) at George Washington University. The importance of establishing a school climate conducive to learning has also been recognized by other studies of school reform and endorsed in federal SIG guidance. This special CEP report highlights findings about the critical element of school climate from case studies of the first year and half of SIG implementation in Maryland, Michigan, and Idaho. The information in the report is based on interviews with 35 state, district, and school officials in the three states and on in-depth reviews of six SIG-funded schools. Key findings about school climate from the case study schools include the following: (1) All six SIG-funded schools participating in CEP's case studies have taken steps to create a more positive school climate--often as an initial priority before implementing other reforms; (2) SIG-funded case study schools used a variety of specific strategies to improve school climate--from instituting school uniforms to increasing teacher collaboration; and (3) Administrators and teachers most often cited improvements in school climate as their greatest success after the first year of implementing SIGs. (Contains 1 box.) [For related reports, see "Increased Learning Time under Stimulus-Funded School Improvement Grants: High Hopes, Varied Implementation" (ED533562) and "Schools with Federal Improvement Grants Face Challenges in Replacing Principals and Teachers" (ED533563).]
Center on Education Policy. 2140 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Room 103, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-994-8859; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Phi Delta Kappa International
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: Idaho; Maryland; Michigan
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009