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
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Reframing Behavior: Neuroscience-Based Practices for Positive Support
Reframing Behavior helps teachers see the “why” of behavior through a neuroscience lens and provides practices that fit into a school day.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
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
Mathematics Webinar
Math for All: Strategies for Inclusive Instruction and Student Success
Looking for ways to make math matter for all your students? Gain strategies that help them make the connection as well as the grade.
Content provided by NMSI

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 Video WATCH: Columbine Author on Myths, Lessons, and Warning Signs of Violence
David Cullen discusses how educators still grapple with painful lessons from the 1999 shooting.
1 min read
School Climate & Safety From Our Research Center How Much Educators Say They Use Suspensions, Expulsions, and Restorative Justice
With student behavior a top concern among educators now, a new survey points to many schools using less exclusionary discipline.
4 min read
Audrey Wright, right, quizzes fellow members of the Peace Warriors group at Chicago's North Lawndale College Prep High School on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Wright, who is a junior and the group's current president, was asking the students, from left, freshmen Otto Lewellyn III and Simone Johnson and sophomore Nia Bell, about a symbol used in the group's training on conflict resolution and team building. The students also must memorize and regularly recite the Rev. Martin Luther King's "Six Principles of Nonviolence."
A group of students at Chicago's North Lawndale College Prep High School participates in a training on conflict resolution and team building on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Nearly half of educators in a recent EdWeek Research Center survey said their schools are using restorative justice more now than they did five years ago.
Martha Irvine/AP
School Climate & Safety 25 Years After Columbine, America Spends Billions to Prevent Shootings That Keep Happening
Districts have invested in more personnel and physical security measures to keep students safe, but shootings have continued unabated.
9 min read
A group protesting school safety in Laurel County, K.Y., on Feb. 21, 2018. In the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school, parents and educators are mobilizing to demand more school safety measures, including armed officers, security cameras, door locks, etc.
A group calls for additional school safety measures in Laurel County, Ky., on Feb. 21, 2018, following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which 14 students and three staff members died. Districts have invested billions in personnel and physical security measures in the 25 years since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.
Claire Crouch/Lex18News via AP
School Climate & Safety How Columbine Shaped 25 Years of School Safety
Columbine ushered in the modern school safety era. A quarter decade later, its lessons remain relevant—and sometimes elusive.
14 min read
Candles burn at a makeshift memorial near Columbine High School on April 27, 1999, for each of the of the 13 people killed during a shooting spree at the Littleton, Colo., school.
Candles burn at a makeshift memorial near Columbine High School on April 27, 1999, for each of the of the 13 people killed during a shooting spree at the Littleton, Colo., school.
Michael S. Green/AP