A study published in the Review of Educational Research Tuesday suggests that school climate is something educators and communities should prioritize — especially as a way to bridge the elusive achievement gap. The authors analyzed more than 15 years’ of research on schools worldwide, and found that positive school climate had a significant impact on academics.
And here’s the biggest takeaway: There’s no link between school climate and socioeconomic status. In other words, there are plenty of happy schools in low-income neighborhoods, too.
“Obviously you need to have a great math teacher that can teach math, but those social and emotional connections really help in the academic area too,” says Ron Avi Astor, a professor at the University of Southern California and a co-author of the study. “That creates a lot of opportunities for the low-income schools,” by giving reformers more tools to think about, he says.
Illustration: LA Johnson/NPR