School Climate & Safety

Cleveland Schools Faulted on Climate

By Christina A. Samuels — August 25, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Cleveland school district has an inconsistent approach to how it handles students’ behavior problems that must be addressed, in part, by better training of school personnel, says a study by a Washington-based research group.

The 52,000-student district requested the report on schools’ capacity to handle students with mental and behavior needs after a 14-year-old opened fire at a school last August, wounding two teachers and two other students before killing himself. Another report requested in the wake of the shooting focused specifically on security improvements.

The American Institutes for Research study was based on more than 100 interviews, a student survey, site visits, and a review of school documents. David Osher, the lead author and a managing director at the air, said the report was one of the most thorough he has conducted on an urban district.

Among the challenges noted by the researchers were harsh and inconsistent punishments in schools, poor adult role modeling, and a weak family-school connection.

Students were asked to rate their schools on a “safe and respectful climate,” which measures how physically and emotionally safe students feel. About 46 percent of middle school students thought their school environment “needs improvement.” Also, more than 48 percent of responding high school students said they worry about crime and violence in school, and almost 43 percent reported that students are threatened or bullied at their high school.

Mr. Osher said Cleveland officials took pains to convince him that they wanted a deeper look at mental-health capacity in the city and schools, and weren’t just looking for a symbolic gesture. In press reports, Cleveland officials said they welcomed the report’s candor.

“People are poised to be willing to take the next implementation steps,” Mr. Osher said in an interview. The institute drafted a four-year plan and intends to work with Cleveland schools for six months, he said.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the August 27, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Seamless Integrations for Engagement in the Classroom
Learn how to seamlessly integrate new technologies into your classroom to support student engagement. 
Content provided by GoGuardian
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety 'Swatting' Calls and Lockdowns: Tips for Schools to Ease the Anxiety and Disruption
How school administrators can prepare for lockdowns and restore calm.
4 min read
A male police officer in a dark blue uniform walks between two white police SUVs parked in front of a three-story, red brick school building.
A police officer patrolled Glennwood Elementary School in Decatur, Ga., while the school was on lockdown in 2018.
John Amis/AP
School Climate & Safety 'Swatting' Hoaxes Disrupt Schools Across the Country. What Educators Need to Know
School lockdowns can cause stress to students, teachers, and families, even if threats don't materialize.
8 min read
A bald man and a woman with long brown hair tearfully hug a teen girl who is wearing a pale beighe backpack. Three women look on with concerned expressions.
A family shares a tearful reunion after Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas, went into lockdown because of a false report of a shooting.
Kin Man Hui/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
School Climate & Safety How to Spend $1 Billion in School Safety Funds: Here's What the Feds Recommend
A "Dear Colleague" letter from the Education Department puts a priority on creating inclusive, equitable school environments.
4 min read
The U.S. Department of Education urged schools to use federal funds to support the social, emotional, mental, and physical health needs of students in a "dear colleague" letter sent Sept. 15.
Third grader Alexis Kelliher points to her feelings while visiting a sensory room at Williams Elementary School in Topeka, Kan.
Charlie Riedel/AP
School Climate & Safety A Pair of Retired Military Officers Makes a Case Against Arming Teachers
Their comments come on a call organized by a national teachers' union pushing back against the school safety strategy.
3 min read
A man in a black polo shirt with short sleeves holds up a hand gun in front of a projector screen that shows a diagram of a gun with labeled parts.
Clark Aposhian, president of Utah Shooting Sport Council, holds a pistol during concealed weapons training for 200 Utah teachers, in West Valley City, Utah.
Rick Bowmer/AP