The Racial School-Climate Gap
Education inequity is a persistent reality of American culture. As early as kindergarten, there are marked differences in academic performance between racial minority students and their peers. These differences are sustained as students progress through school.
One aspect of students’ social experience that may help to explain the gap is school climate. A positive school climate has been associated with higher levels of school achievement. Thus, differences in how students of different races experience various aspects of school climate may help explain group differences in achievement.
Recent research studies, conducted by WestEd’s Health & Justice Program staff and summarized in this report, examined connections between student race, achievement, and school climate in California schools.
The collective findings of these studies support the notion that, just as there is a racial achievement gap, there is a racial school-climate gap in California schools.
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