The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.

May 2020Volume 20, No. 2
Gauging School Climate


Like their state counterparts, state boards must both respond to crises and plan ahead. A focus on creating the best possible learning for all will help educators, students, and families emerge from this crisis on a stronger footing. This issue of the State Education Standard underscores how hard it has been to build a healthy climate for learning in online settings, as school buildings across the country are shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Gauging School Climate



Teacher and boy talking. Image credit: iStock

Why School Climate Matters and What Can Be Done to Improve It

By Jennifer DePaoli and Linda Darling-Hammond

Educators’ abilities to forge strong relationships with students lie at the heart of strong schools.





School Climate and Measurement

By David Osher, Sam Neiman and Sandra Williamson

All schools should be using climate data, which can be used statewide for accountability, too.





African-American teacher reading to school children. Image credit: iStock

Why School Climate Matters for Teachers and Students

By Grace Falken and Matthew Kraft

Teachers in strong climates get better faster, stay longer, and propel their students to greater heights.





Unhappy teen boy in office. Image credit: iStock

School Discipline Reform Is Still Needed, but Is Discipline Policy Still the Solution?

By Kristen Harper

Addressing disparities requires a broader, deeper look at school culture, process, and practice.






Measures of SEL and School Climate in California

By Heather Hough and Taylor Allbright

CORE Districts plumb the possibilities of using holistic measures to improve schools.





Aerial view of crowd connected by vectors. Image credit: iStock

Creating Equitable School Climates

By Kori Hamilton Biagas, Philip Brown and Randy Ross

How states and districts are weaving equity into their efforts to improve climate.





Removing Barriers to LGBTQ Student Safety and Achievement

By Aaron Ridings

Comprehensive protections from bullying and harassment help everyone.





African American father and adorable son building constructor tower. Image credit: iStock

What Learning and Developmental Science Says about Optimal Learning Environments

By Nora Gomperts and Pamela Cantor MD

We know what leads children toward healthy development. We just need to build it.








Featured Items

Image Credit: iStock i

The Role of Schools in Racial Justice

Authors in this issue argue schools can progress toward educational equity only if, at every challenge, state leaders are willing to make decisions that put the needs of our most vulnerable students first.
Image Credit: iStock i

Michigan Adds Certificate for Birth to Kindergarten Teachers

A detail of how the Michigan State Board of Education, working closely with the state education agency, is expanding opportunities to improve early educators’ preparation.
Image Credit: iStock i

Promoting School Nurses as Leaders in Reopening Schools

This analysis describes how state boards of education and other state stakeholders can partner with school nurses and state school nurse leaders in forming guidance and making decisions about transitions back to school.

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