This study examined congruence between teacher and student perceptions of school equity and how congruence or incongruence related to students' sense of connectedness to school.
School equity refers to the extent to which students are treated fairly, ensuring that each student receives what they need to be successful. School staff can play a vital role in creating an equitable school climate for adolescents, but little is known about how staff perceive equity in their school and how this in turn may relate to students' perceptions. Data for the study came from the Maryland Safe and Supportive Schools Climate Survey, which was administered online to 5,523 school staff and 59,218 students across 104 middle and high schools. Multilevel models indicated that, compared to high staff and high student ratings, there was lower connectedness among the schools with low staff, low student ratings of equity as well as the schools with high staff, low student and low staff, high student ratings of equity. The findings suggest that staff perceptions of school equity are often higher than students and incongruence in perceptions may have a negative impact on students' connection to school. (publisher abstract modified)
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