WHAT WE DO

The goal of the Department of Research and Evaluation is to gather, analyze, and disseminate data that offers real direction and support to school leaders, researchers, policymakers, and other key stakeholders as they work to improve school climate in their communities. We offer a wide range of school improvement-related research, measurement, and evaluation services to public and private education entities, including districts, schools, non-profit programs and other organizations.

Research

NSCC advances new knowledge on issues related to school climate and overall school improvement.

We conduct both primary and secondary research on education issues of national and local significance using the latest in qualitative and quantitative methodologies in an effort to enhance our understanding of how schools work to maximize student learning.

NSCC also provides expertise and research-related technical assistance to education researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to enable them to address important questions regarding school climate. Over the years, NSCC has produced a number of research publications for both general audiences and in peer-reviewed journals on a variety of topics important to school climate.

Measurement

To better understand issues of school climate and the interventions that impact them, it is critical that we develop tools to accurately measure the elements that make up school climate.

Using the latest methods, and grounded in theory and practice, NSCC researchers have developed a set of innovative and empirically validated measurement tools to help schools assess their learning environment.

Our Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) remains one of the most nationally-recognized and well-cited school climate surveys in the field, providing in-depth profiles of school communities’ particular strengths and needs, allowing them to make informed decisions for lasting school improvement.

In addition to the CSCI, NSCC researchers have developed a variety of tools and scales that capture specific elements of the school improvement process.

Evaluation

Evaluation is the most essential way to enhance our knowledge and the efficacy of school improvement interventions.

All evaluation services conducted by NSCC staff include evaluation approaches and methods that reflect current theoretical and empirical knowledge and are considered best practice in the field.

Our evaluation activities incorporate empirically validated survey tools with current or emerging evaluation designs both analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, conducting focus groups and interviews with program participants, as well as helping education entities develop capacity for data gathering and analysis.

NSCC thoroughly evaluates all types of school improvement initiatives by measuring the impact of interventions on whole school communities while assisting education entities to utilize evaluation findings to inform programming decisions for the betterment of school and student outcomes.