The Relationship between Student Perceptions of School Safety and their Performance on Standardized Examinations in Alabama’s Public Secondary Schools

Tony Thacker

Alabama Department of Education

Ronald Lindahl

Alabama State University



This quantitative study used data from the 2009-2010 PRIDE Surveys completed by students in 738 Alabama public schools serving students in grades 6 through 12. It found moderate positive relationships between student perceptions of their school’s safety and their performance on the SAT10 reading and math tests at the eighth grade level, but only low positive relationships with their performance on the reading and math portions of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. Students in urban schools perceived higher levels of violence and lower levels of positive influences and school safety than did students in non-urban districts. The factors of school violence, positive influences and negative influences showed no relationships with student performance on standardized exams at either the 8th or 11th grade levels.

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