A Further Understanding of School Disorder

Anthony A. Peguero, University of Miami

Within recent years, the social perception of school violence as an epidemic has inspired school administrators to create and implement programs and curriculum to address this social problem (Kolbe, Kann and Brener, 2001). These programs have suggested that the key to reducing the dilemma of school violence is placed upon the school (i.e. teachers, counselors and administrators) to create safe, healthy and quality schools (Verdugo and Schneider, 1999). With that, school level factors have theoretically and empirically acquired more focus as influential upon level violence, deviance and crime within their school walls. Traditionally, the hypothesis has generally been upon the influence of the student or the broader institutional (e.g. conflict theorists) forces that help create unsafe schools. But, with the growing attention on schools themselves playing an important role that mediates between the insittution and individual, the characteristics of the school's culture (Hoy and Miskel, 1991) and level of disorder (Welsh, 2000) have become increasingly important.

Drawing from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), this research will further investigate the influences of school climate upon high school students' standardized test scores. The NELS data set is an ongoing longitudinal project of the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. NELS represents the educational experience of youth that spans from 1988 to 2000. The purpose of this research is to conduct a preliminary investigation of school disorder influencing the individual educational achievement (i.e., standardized test scores).

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Updated 05/20/2006