"Just as we have standards around academic goals, we need standards around school climate because what gets measured is what gets done. We’re only going to put school climate at the priority level it deserves—which to me is at the top—if we have standards around it and start measuring it."
—Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Education in Phi Delta Kappan (PDK) magazine
Now is a truly exciting time for education reform as the Administration defines its priorities and sets new goals for student achievement, spending allocations, and legislative focus. Last month, President Obama released the Federal Budget projections for FY 2011, including an increase of more than $3.5 billion overall. A critical piece of this proposed spending ($410 million) is slated to go toward the new Successful, Safe and Healthy Students Program, which will consolidate programs currently offered under the Office of Safe & Drug-Free Schools. These changes point to a significant shift in focus, with school climate reform becoming one of the main priorities for driving student success. CSEE is proud to have been at the forefront of this effort for many years, and we applaud the government for deepening its commitment to school climate funding and reform.
With these pivotal changes in sight, the new issue of School Climate Matters introduces several new and exciting resources from CSEE and the National School Climate Council: National School Climate Standards, a School Climate Guide for District Policy Makers and Educational Leaders; and a School Climate Implementation Road Map. The Standards present a vision and framework for a positive and sustainable school climate that is then reinforced with the supports included in the District Guide and Road Map. Together, these resources will help your school or district align current practices with the shift in federal guidelines and make real progress toward school climate improvement this year. In addition, we are launching a new periodic publication—the School Climate Briefs—which will provide detailed commentaries from experts in the field on key school climate topics. The first in this series is a 2010 School Climate Research Summary (PDF).
These tools add to CSEE’s proven supports in this area—including our leading school climate measurement tool, the CSCI—and build directly from our experience working with thousands of educators and students nationwide. In this issue, we bring this work to life with inspiring profiles of two NYC public schools dedicated to building more effective learning communities. We are also thrilled to announce that registration is now open for our 13th Annual Summer Institute, which will include a keynote by Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education, Kevin Jennings. Sign up today to learn about the most up-to-date school climate efforts and supports nationwide. We hope to see you there!
Click here to download the PDF of the newsletter. As always, we want to learn from you, too. Please tell us what your school or district is doing to actively address school climate needs and let us know how we can help. Share your thoughts at: [email protected]
All the best for a positive and productive spring!