Research Connections: Equity, School Climate and Academic Achievement

Produced by the HRC Foundation

Key Points

  • Students cannot get to learning if they are not feeling safe, seen, and valued.
  • Equity and diversity topics ARE about academic achievement.

The Research

  • Students who experience acceptance at school are more highly motivated, engaged in learning and committed to school.1
  • Both children who are targeted and children who exhibit bullying behavior have lower academic achievement in school.2
  • School-wide passing rates on standardized tests are up to 5% lower in schools where students report a more severe bullying climate.3
  • An improved school climate has a significant positive impact on academic achievement. Plus achievement gaps decrease in schools with a positive school climate.4
  • Elementary students who report perceived racial/ethnic discrimination are more likely to have symptoms of ADHD, conduct disorder, and ODD symptoms.5
  • Students in classrooms where teachers establish classroom norms that explicitly value diversity are less likely to be teased based on ethnicity and are more likely to value school and get better grades. 6
  • A supportive adult presence is associated with less school burnout, lower aggression levels, and better academic performance.7
  • Compared with students harassed for other reasons, students who feel harassed for their race, religion, ability, perceived sexual orientation, or gender are more likely to have lower grades and skip school.8
  • There are higher dropout rates when students perceive higher rates of bullying and teasing in a school.9


Research Connections: Equity, School Climate and Academic Achievement

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