Qualitative and Quantitative Measurements at School and Student Level: Discrepancies Between School Safety Policies and Practices

Frank M. Weerman, NSCR

ABSTRACT
In measuring school safety and school policies with regard to problem behavior, differences between school policy and school practices have received relatively little attention. We combined a school-based quantitative survey among high school students with qualitative interviews at the participating schools to learn about school policies and practices with regard to problem behavior and delinquency. Data were collected at twelve predominantly lower vocational and mostly inner city schools with a substantial representation of ethnic minority students. The survey contained about 2000 students from these schools in the age of 12-15 years. With this information we aimed to characterize school policies and practices and to describe possible differences between them. We try to answer methodological questions about the correspondence between the qualitative information from the interviews and quantitative data obtained from the questionnaires. We also try to find factors explaining possible discrepancies between policy and practices.

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Updated 05/20/2006