Office of Shared Accountability Reports

A New Measure of Staff, Parent, and Student Perceptions About the Degree to Which Schools Are Safe, Drug-free, and Conducive to Learning


This research brief explores the use of multiple items from the Surveys of School Environment (SSE) to provide a more comprehensive measure of the strategic plan milestone that all students will be educated in learning environments that are safe, drug-free, and conducive to learning. Currently, this milestone is monitored using one item from each of the staff, parent, and student SSE administered in elementary, middle, and high school. Factor analyses of these multiple items revealed a single robust construct, which is a more reliable measure than a single item measure for obtaining staff, parent, and student perceptions of school learning environments.


  • Use a multi-item construct instead of a single item to measure school learning environment.
  • Integrate action plans for addressing the concerns revealed by staff and students through this analysis.
  • Conduct additional research to explore the extent to which concerns about the learning environment are associated with school-level differences in academic performance.

    File Name: SafeSchools_2008-08-25.pdf (123KB PDF)