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

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








Featured Items

Little girl crossing the field in fog. Image credit: iStock i

Gauging School Climate

As school buildings reopen after weeks of pandemic-induced closures, school climate will matter more than ever. State policymakers and education leaders can plan now to create safe, supportive learning environments ready for the return of students and teachers to classrooms. The articles in The Standard provide a roadmap.
Chairs on desks in empty classroom. Image Credit: iStock i

Preparing Facilities for Students’ Return in the Wake of COVID-19

To reopen schools, they need to be clean and safe for students, educators, and staff. What state leaders need to consider as they issue guidance for schools.
Masked mother and daughter reviewing book.Image Credit: iStock i

Continued Learning during COVID-19

States are issuing guidance with an eye toward equity to help schools implement continuous learning for all students and adapt to a variety of needs and circumstances amidst widespread school closures from COVID-19.

Upcoming Events

From the States

  • Measures of SEL and School Climate in California

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

  • Kansas State Board Confronts Youth Vaping

    The usage of vaping products among middle school students has increased at alarming rates. Federal and state policymakers are addressing this crisis, including in Kansas, where the state board of education acted quickly to engage stakeholders on curbing youth vaping.