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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007
NCES 2008-021
December 2007

Indicator 12: Teachers' Reports of School Conditions

The percentage of teachers who reported that student misbehavior, class cutting, and tardiness interfered with their teaching varied by teacher and school characteristics. A higher percentage of teachers in city schools than in suburban, rural, or town schools reported that misbehavior and student tardiness interfered with their teaching in 2003–04.

Classroom disruptions are associated with lower student achievement for the offending student as well as for that student's classmates (Lannie and McCurdy 2007). In the Schools and Staffing Survey, public and private school teachers were asked if student misbehavior and student tardiness and class cutting interfered with their teaching. In 2003–04, 35 percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching, and 31 percent reported that student tardiness and class cutting interfered with their teaching (table 12.1). Teachers were also asked if school rules were enforced by other teachers at their school, even for students not in their classes, or by the principal. Seventy-two percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that other teachers at their school enforced the school rules and 88 percent reported that the principal enforced the school rules in 2003–04 (figure 12.1 and table 12.2).

The percentage of teachers who reported that student misbehavior, class cutting, and tardiness interfered with their teaching varied by teacher and school characteristics. In 2003–04, a higher percentage of teachers in city schools than in suburban, town, or rural schools reported that misbehavior and student tardiness interfered with their teaching (table 12.1). For example, 42 percent of teachers in city schools reported that student misbehavior in their school interfered with their teaching, compared to 33 percent of suburban teachers, 34 percent of town teachers, and 31 percent of rural teachers. Between 1987–88 and 2003–04, a larger percentage of public school teachers than private school teachers reported that student misbehavior and tardiness interfered with their teaching (figure 12.2 and table 12.1). In 2003– 04, about 37 percent of public school teachers reported that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching, compared to 21 percent of private school teachers. In 2003–04, a higher percentage of secondary school teachers than elementary school teachers agreed that student misbehavior, student tardiness, and class cutting interfered with their teaching (table 12.1). In 2003–04, for example, 40 percent of secondary school teachers reported that student misbehavior interfered with their teaching, compared to 34 percent of elementary teachers.

The percentage of teachers who agreed that school rules were enforced by other teachers varied by teacher and school characteristics. In every survey year, a higher percentage of elementary school teachers than secondary school teachers agreed that school rules were enforced by teachers in their school, even for students not in their class (table 12.2 and figure 12.1). In 2003–04, for example, 79 percent of elementary teachers reported that school rules were enforced by other teachers compared to 56 percent of secondary teachers. Generally, the percentage of teachers who agreed or strongly agreed that school rules were enforced by other teachers was greater in schools with smaller school enrollment (table 12.2). In 2003–04, about 84 percent of teachers in schools with fewer than 200 students agreed that school rules were enforced by other teachers, compared to 56 percent of teachers in schools with 1,000 or more students.

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