Date of Award

5-1-1998

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Null Tucker

Abstract

This study examined the impact of school climate on student achievement in the DeKaib County School System (DCSS). It was the contention that various factors impact school climate. Students who attend schools with a large population of students from low socioeconomic family status are more likely to perform poorly on standardized tests. Data were collected and analyzed from forty randomly selected elementary schools in the DCSS, utilizing a 40-item Likert-type instrument, O’Neal’s Effective Schools Climate Inventory. The Pearson r correlation coefficient was used to test for significance. This study found that there was a significant relationship between student achievement on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills fourth-grade reading scores and socioeconomic status of the schools. To a lesser degree, there was a significant relationship between student achievement and gender of the principal. It was also discovered that there was no significant difference between principals’ race and years of experience and student achievement. One of the major conclusions of this study is that student achievement is greatly impacted by socioeconomic status of the school. To improve student achievement in low socioeconomic schools, principals must provide staff development activities that will empower teachers to use teaching strategies which will improve school climate for this population and subsequently affect student achievement.

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