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Review for National School Climate Center, New York, NY, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

i have watched this organization grow and mature over the last five years and seen it's focus refined to reflect one of the most important elements of school improvement--school climate. In these days when parents must be confused by claims about schools and education understanding how the role of school climate in creating an environment where kids are likely to learn is something to be considered carefully. Every parent should encourage the schools their children attend to be concerned about climate--how people treat each other, how learning is supported, spaces that students find safe to learn in--which often means making mistakes at first.

If I had to identify a single element to help us understand the success of schools and make schools better it would be school climate--a concept that brings many complex elements into an understandable form. And, to do school climate improvement successfully there is no better set of educators that I know of than those associated with this Center. In full disclosure, I have advised the group as a volunteer and apply my professional perspective to make this judgment. Every cent funneled through the center has real potential for improving schools for our children. And I especially encourage policy makers at all levels to look at this model as a way to make progress in this area so critical to the future of our nation.

Nick Michelli
Presidential Professor
Ph.D. Program in Urban Education
City University of New york

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I know schools that have been influenced by the work and I have interacted with volunteer advisors in moving the work forward.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think the organization is doing all it can do given its resources. I think enlisting others beyond the employees of the organization to influence policy makers would be an important step. I mean influencing policy makers at all levels--local, state, and national. They want to hear local stories of success, and they can find them here if we lead them to them!

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & Professor studying urban education and policy.

Review for National School Climate Center, New York, NY, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have spent my career working to improve the quality of education for children, especially in urban areas. My focus has been on deep academic knowledge and learning what it means to live in a democracy, including learning to argue for one's beliefs, listening to others with empathy, and learning to compromise. These are difficult qualities to measure. i have found nothing as powerful as the work of the National School Climate Center for understanding how the culture of a school impacts learning either positively or negatively. The Center's work is research based, allows for assessment and progress, and is very effective in enhancing school climate and therefore the lives of children, and I might add teachers. I believe that studies will show that when school climate is optimum teacher attrition is reduced. We already know that it leads to stronger learning outcomes.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have reviewed the research and shared it with colleagues within an national organization. I have seen how discussions with administrators and teachers change positions for the better. I have seen how attention to school climate can mediate the tensions caused by the current excessive and continued focus on testing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would focus on getting the word out to policy makers and educators. I have faith that an investment in this work, if the policy conditions were open to it, would be extraordinary in the results it will bring.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?


What is unique about this organization?

Its focus on change that leads to important outcomes.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I have worked with the Council in developing national standards and considering strategies for enhancing climate. I have also written on the issue.