Journal of Educational Research and Practice


We investigated whether there are significant differences in ratings of school climate from the perspectives of students, parents, and school staff across four types of urban secondary schools. Data originated from a school climate survey administered in a large urban Midwestern school district to students attending traditional and alternative high schools. We coded all high schools in the sample district into four school types, including traditional, innovative, behavior-focused, and academic remediation-focused. We analyzed data using linear mixed-model regression. Results showed statistically significant differences in specific dimensions of school climate across stakeholder groups and the four school types. Analysis of student data indicated ratings of Learning-Focused Environment are significantly lower in traditional schools. Analysis of parent data indicated ratings of Academic Preparation and Community Engagement are significantly higher in innovative alternative schools. Analysis of staff data indicated ratings of Staff Engagement are significantly lower in traditional schools. These findings suggest discrepant educational opportunities related to specific dimensions of climate according to school type.