Examining the Reliability and Validity of the ASSC School Climate Assessment Instrument (SCAI)

What is the Function of the SCAI?
The primary function of the ASSC SCAI is to provide a mirror with which those within an individual school may explore the quality of their school's climate. It provides a scoring procedure that allows for a highly valid and reliable indicator of the quality of school climate across 8 dimensions.

The Validity of the SCAI
The ASSC SCAI instruments assume a comprehensive definition of school climate. The ASSC definition of climate is - "the perceptions and practical realities of those within a school as a result of everything that happens within that school." As a result, we define climate across 8 separate but inter-related dimensions. Given this definition the SCAI instruments provide a valid measure of overall school climate. Much of the validity comes from the fact that there are enough items on the instruments that are designed to obtain a broad range of the essential features of the school. The validity of the SCAI instruments is demonstrated in the following areas: The Reliability of the SCAI
The ASSC SCAI instruments will tend to achieve greater levels of reliability than instruments that use a yes or no structure due to the descriptive nature of the items themselves. Analytic type measures (i.e., rubrics) such as that used in the SCAI have been shown to obtain higher degrees of reliability when compared to ratings obtained from undefined Likert scales or yes - no items. Subjectivity is greatly decreased in analytic type items when compared to purely Likert-type items.

ASSC SCAI Sub-scale
Chronbach's Alpha Reliability measure Correlation with Student Achievement (overall school mean to mean)
Student SCAI-S-S 7.3 Teacher SCAI-S-G 7.1.8 Parent SCAI-S-G 7.1.8
Size of Data Set N = 853 N = 342 N = 89
1. Physical Environment.83.80.890.6
2. Teacher Interactions .89 0.6
3. Student Interactions.88.83.900.7
4. Leadership and Decisions .96.900.5
5. Discipline and Management.91.80.940.8
6. Learning and Assessment.93.88.960.7
7. Attitude and Culture.92.88.940.7
8. Community.88.73.870.6
All dimensions included.977.981.9830.7
In practice, the ASSC SCAI demonstrates exceptionally high levels of reliability as measured by the Chronbach's Alpha reliability test (0.97). The accepted standard for a reliable instrument is 0.7. Each of the sub-scales of the SCAI full version reflect alpha scores much better than that standard as well as other known school climate instruments.