Report: Schools Need to Do More to Address Student Behavior Issues

More than 90 percent of teachers and administrators think their schools need to address student behavior issues in order to promote student success, but only 56 percent say those issues are a top priority in their schools, according to a new report from YouGov and Kickboard.

The report, "The State of Climate & Culture Initiatives in America's Schools," was prepared by YouGov on behalf of Kickboard, a web-based school culture platform. YouGov surveyed 2,500 teachers, school administrators and district administrators about school priorities, school climate and culture initiatives, and opportunities and challenges related to creating school environments that foster student success. The online survey was conducted in November and December 2015.

According to the report, educators acknowledge "the intrinsic link between learning and the behavioral, social, and emotional needs and issues that their students might face" and most schools already have climate and culture initiatives in place to address those issues. However, many educators think the behavioral, social and emotional needs of their students should be a higher priority.

Key findings from the report:

  • 93 percent of educators surveyed said they agree that behavioral issues get in the way of learning;
  • 74 percent of surveyed educators said that addressing the needs of students whose academic challenges are rooted in social and emotional issues should be a top priority for their school, although only 56 percent said it currently is;
  • The most common strategy for dealing with behavioral issues is a system of rewards and consequences;
  • Only 37 percent of teachers surveyed reported recording data on student behavior;
  • 57 percent of district administrators interviewed said they currently do not have a plan for a district-wide climate and culture initiative; and
  • 57 percent of teachers and 67 percent of administrators said the main challenge to  implementing a school- or district-wide climate and culture initiative is inconsistency on the types of behaviors that are tracked, monitored and rewarded.

"Our goal with this research paper is to shine a light on these issues and start a conversation among all K-12 education stakeholders about how to create and implement climate and culture initiatives based on consistent data collection and analysis, to drive school improvement and promote student success," said Jennifer Medbery, CEO of Kickboard, in a news release.

The full report is available as a free, downloadable PDF from Kickboard's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].