Publication Date

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Brent Duckor


Data informed decision making, Education policy, Local Control Funding Formula, School climate assessment, School health, Superintendents

Subject Areas

Educational leadership; Education policy; Educational evaluation


Academic outcomes and health outcomes are interconnected and reciprocal and school climate has emerged as a way to capture some of this relationship. An increasing trend in education policy is using multiple measures of school success, including school climate, such as California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). As school climate evolves as a critical component in state accountability there is a need to better understand the role of leaders in facilitating the implementation processes for school climate assessment accountabilities, including their beliefs and their practices. This mixed methods study explored the practices and beliefs of California Superintendents in their efforts to meet Priority 6 (school climate) of the LCFF. The study used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design to query 298 superintendents who participated in an online survey and eight superintendents who were interviewed in the qualitative data collection phase. Findings suggested that superintendents largely believe that school climate assessment was important; they believe in their capacities to use the data for decision making; and they believe that using quality instruments are important. However, there was variation in their responses suggesting the need for further exploration. These varied beliefs impact how local leaders interpret and implement assessment strategies, which influence the data that are received and the subsequent decisions that are made. In the conclusion, the researcher offers recommendations for policy, practice, and future research.