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Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

NCES 2008-084
September 2008

Principal Perceptions of School Climate


In 2007, schools with a relatively large percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students had a higher percentage of 4th- and 8th-grade students for whom administrators indicated serious problems with student absenteeism, student tardiness, lack of family involvement, and low expectations than schools with a lower percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students.

Figure 5.6. Percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native 4th- and 8th-grade students whose school administrators indicated specific issues were serious problems, by grade and density of American Indian/Alaska Native schools: 2007
Percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native 4th- and 8th-grade students whose school
administrators indicated specific issues were serious problems, by grade and density of
American Indian/Alaska Native schools: 2007
# Rounds to zero.
NOTE: School density indicates the percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students enrolled. Low-density schools are schools where American Indians/Alaska Natives account for less than 25 percent of the total enrollment High-density schools are schools where American Indians/Alaska Natives account for 25 percent or more of the total enrollment. Percentages do not sum to 100 percent because the "Not a problem", "Minor problem" and "Moderate problem" categories are not shown.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. The Educational Experiences of American Indian and Alaska Native Students in Grades 4 and 8 (NCES 2008-458). National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), National Indian Education Study (NIES), 2007.

Principals were also asked whether specific conditions, such as student absenteeism, tardiness, health problems, misbehavior, physical conflicts, and drug or alcohol use were problems in their schools. Other school conditions, such as lack of family involvement and low student expectations, were also explored.

In this indicator, school density refers to the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students enrolled. Low-density schools are schools in which American Indians/Alaska Natives account for less than 25 percent of the total enrollment. High-density schools are schools in which American Indians/Alaska Natives account for 25 percent or more of the total enrollment.

A higher percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students in high-density schools had school administrators who reported specific problems as serious, compared to their peers in low-density schools. The specific problems more frequently reported as serious by administrators of high-density schools included student absenteeism, student tardiness, lack of family involvement, and low expectations. In 2007, administrators of 22 percent of 8th-graders in high-density schools reported student absenteeism as a serious problem, compared to administrators of 5 percent of 8th-graders in low-density schools. Administrators of 35 percent of 8th-graders in high-density schools reported lack of family involvement in school as a serious problem, compared to administrators of 12 percent of 8th-graders in low-density schools. Student misbehavior was also identified as a serious problem by a larger percentage of administrators of 8th-graders in high density schools (11 percent) than low density schools (1 percent).

View Table View Table 5.6

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