In the weeks after the Summer Institute, we have prepared and posted on the IEE website two new documents about CEEA surveys. We hope they can clarify why schools might choose the Culture of Excellence & Ethics Assessment™ Surveys as their assessment tools of choice when measuring school climate and culture.
The first document is a series of FAQs, with straight-forward answers about what CEEA surveys measure and how one could use them. For example:
What does CEEA survey measure? As the name suggests, CEEA surveys measure the extent to which the climate and culture of a school are conducive to the development of student competencies of excellence and ethics, or their performance character and moral character. In addition, CEEA surveys measure whether the school climate is safe, supportive, and engaging for students; whether staff engage in supportive collegial relationships; and the extent to which the school engages student families in support of student learning.
The second document is a conceptual description of the components of CEEA surveys. It tries to provide a brief research basis for the selection of the specific aspects of school culture included in the surveys. We believe that by focusing on those aspects of school culture that promote excellence and ethics, performance character and moral character, and by measuring them simultaneously along multiple dimensions and from multiple sources (student self-efficacy beliefs, perceptions of peers, perceptions of faculty; staff perceptions of themselves, of students, of colleagues, and of student families, plus the perceptions of the relevant constructs reported by parents), we have created a powerful instrument. The power of this assessment tool lies, however, not in its ability to identify individuals who underperform and are in need of improvement, but in its rich findings about the school culture: these findings can serve as a basis for multiple in-depth conversations among school leaders, staff, and among students, helping all stake-holders to understand their current state and formulate their desired state.
See, for example, the winter/spring 2010 issue of our newsletter, excellence & ethics, for one school’s powerful story of how they used survey data on the culture of their school to engage staff and students in reflections about the school, formulating what to do to improve it, and committing to real change.
For a discussion of why cultural assets, such as those measured by CEEA surveys, are essential for all schools working on improving teaching, learning, and collegial relationships see, for example, CEP White Paper on Developing and Assessing School Culture.