Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between school environment and student achievement in several high schools in an urban school division in Virginia. The subjects for this study were eleventh grade students, randomly selected teachers of eleventh graders and the principal of each school. Nine high schools buildings are in the school division, of which eight were used in this investigation. The one school not included in the study was an alternative high school whose students attended classes at various places throughout the division.;The initial group tested consisted of 1225 students, 114 teachers, and 8 principals. Incomplete test data resulted in 190 students being dropped from the study, leaving 984 students.;The school environment was assessed by the School Environment Questionnaire developed by Brookover, et al. at Michigan State University. Student achievement was measured by the students' composite score on the SRA Achievement Test Series administered to all eleventh grade students in the State of Virginia in the fall of 1979. The questionnaires were categorized by groups of respondents (students, teachers and principals) and by school within groups. Three separate varimax rotation factor analyses were performed. Correlations were performed on climate factors, socio-economic status, percentage-white students and STEA with achievement. A series of stepwise regression analyses on the dependent variable achievement and the various predictor variables were also performed.;The first tested hypothesis that a positive relationship exists between student perceptions and staff perceptions of the school environment was accepted. Correlation analyses between student climate factors and teacher climate factors and between student climate factors and principal climate factors resulted in 19 significant correlations at the .05 level. Since all six student climate factors correlated significantly with three teacher climate factors and with two of the principal climate factors, a relationship existed between student and staff perceptions.;The second tested hypothesis that a positive relationship exists between achievement and school environment was also accepted. Correlations indicated that: (1) student perceptions were more related to achievement than teacher and principal perceptions; (2) teacher perceptions were more related to achivement than principal perceptions; and, (3) the schools with the highest mean achievement also had the highest number of positive correlations between climate factors and achievement.



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