California has entered an era in which safe, welcoming and inclusive school environments are seen as key to unlocking better test scores, higher graduation rates, fewer suspensions and drops in chronic absenteeism.

But not nearly enough is being done to assess how, or if, efforts to improve school environments are actually working, say a chorus of researchers, youth advocates, and state officials.

We are in this brave new world, but we don’t have the data analysis to identify the role school climate factors play in determining whether schools perform well.

Suspension rates are the main indicator of school climate on the California School Dashboard, the state’s school accountability system. The dashboard also requires that districts conduct surveys on school climates every other year and publicly report the results to their school boards.

Currently, however, districts are only being asked to survey students and don’t have to state what, if anything, they’re doing in response to the results.

Read the full article on data to judge school climates by David Washburn at EdSource