Several local blog posts recently have sought to draw conclusions about the Escambia County School District and its schools based upon data from Florida's School Environmental Safety Incident Reporting (SESIR) System.
The data is complex and there are many factors that go into the reporting of incidents to the state via SESIR. It would not be difficult to imagine local bloggers not comprehending this data and therefore misinterpreting it. Data is complex yet some bloggers are not.
Of paramount importance when attempting to draw conclusions about schools and districts is the following statement from SESIR regarding data interpretation. (page 7 from Introduction)
"When examining data contained in the Statewide report, caution should be exercised when comparing school districts. Numerous social and environmental factors, such as the size of the district population, can significantly impact SESIR data between districts. The number of incidents may vary among districts due to differing interpretations of incident definitions, varying levels of consistency with which schools report incidents, and variation in the amount and level of training provided to school personnel who report SESIR incidents. It is not recommended that data from the Statewide report be used to make general comparisons between districts without taking into consideration external factors and variables. "
If one is attempting to demonize schools--at least they ought to get the data right, right?
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.