Identifying the Impact of Secondary School Environments on Higher Education Outcomes
<bold>Identifying the Impact of Secondary School Environments on Higher Education Outcomes<bold>Christine Mikulski<bold>Abstract<bold>This study is a quantitative analysis that identifies how secondary school environments impact students' ability to persist in higher education. This analysis uses data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 to analyze the problem using a logistic regression model. The analysis produced several significant findings tying a student's negative perception of school environment and negative interactions with peers to a reduced likelihood of obtaining a bachelor's degree:* Students who reported feeling unsafe in their secondary school environment were 12.2 percent less likely to attain a bachelor's degree;* The more students were threatened by student peers in school, their chances of completing a bachelor's degree were reduced by16.6 percent;* The more students engaged in physical fights with student peers, their chances of completing a bachelor's degree were reduced by 25.3 percent;* Students with poor disciplinary records were 26.7 percent less likely to attain a bachelor's degree. Previous research links this finding with previous three - specifically, students who do not feel safe in school and are negatively influenced by peers will exhibit avoidant and unruly behavior.* Importantly, while students' own behavior is important to academic performance, above and beyond their own deviant behavior, school environment factors were still significantly related to whether or not students attained a bachelor's degree by 2000.The significant findings of this analysis warrant additional research to understand the methods and means by which secondary schools enforce order, safety and discipline. Additional research will require better data collection on methods to create safe school environments within secondary and elementary public schools across the United States.Current policies that address access to higher education focus on barriers created by socioeconomic and demographic factors. This study establishes that higher education access policies need to consider the effect public school environments have on higher education outcomes. Public elementary and secondary schools should include Positive Behavior Intervention Supports, as researched and supported by the United States Department of Education, to improve student behavior and academic performance within schools. Additional research and policy implications are discussed in the complete study.
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INCLUDING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN REGULAR EDUCATION ENVIRONMENTS: THE IMPACT ON POST-SCHOOL OUTCOMES Linton, Chandra; Linton, Chandra (2006-04-18)Since Congress passed the Education of All Handicapped Children Act in 1975, federal government policy regarding the education of children with disabilities is that they should be provided a "free appropriate public ...