Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Gary Shouppe

Second Advisor

Eli Jones

Third Advisor

Walter Stephens


School leaders from all over our nation are under scrutiny and pressure to raise their students’ academic achievement. Good standards-based classroom teaching, supportive teachers, administrators, and parents, and a motivated student all make for a high achieving student. But what is the relationship of the school’s climate to the achievement level? Does the student’s socioeconomic status affect academic achievement? This study collected data from 431 traditional public middle schools in the state of Georgia serving students in Grade 6 through Grade 8 exclusively during the 2017-18 school year. A stepwise multiple regression was used to examine the relationships in both research questions. The stepwise process allowed for the researcher to increase accuracy of results by prioritizing predicting variables of Free/Reduced rate, Climate score, and Administrator Attendance entered by correlation rate with the outcome variables of Mathematics Mean Scale Score and English/Language Arts Mean Scale Score. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship of school climate and student achievement at the middle school level in Georgia. A quantitative predictive research design was used to measure the relationship between the variables. A multiple regression analysis in this study will provide information for school principals as to the significance of the relationship and of the climate of the school on student achievement. The results of the study will be a valuable resource for Georgia school leaders who must respond to the demands for increased student achievement while attracting and retaining teachers. If school climate has a significant impact on student achievement, then Georgia school leaders may develop plans to improve school climate (Fuller, Young, & Baker, 2010) and simultaneously create and sustain high-quality teams in response to increasing teacher vacancies and decreasing teacher applicants as reported by the Georgia Department of Education (Owens, 2015).