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.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Florida State Rep. on School Climate: "How Do We Know the Data Reflecting Fewer School Incidents of Violence is Real?"

....That is the question posed by Florida House of Representatives K-12 Subcommittee Chair Janet Adkins in this past Wednesday's K-12 subcommittee meeting.

The committee was given a presentation by two DOE personnel about school climate and the apparently decreasing levels of reportable school violence and misbehavior incidents.

The very colorful PowerPoint presentation and full meeting packet is here.

Several committee members were skeptical, thankfully.  It's not a rosy picture in many classrooms.

From about minute 25 to minute 46 of this video-members of the committee asked a series of very good questions-the gist of which was captured at minute 46:22 by Chair Adkins, when she asked

"How do we get to what is real, society is not getting kinder and gentler, yet we're to believe the number of these incidents is decreasing in our schools.  But I talk to teachers and they are discouraged; they are discouraged about classrooms that are not controlled and their inability to

 control them"

Her questions to these bureaucrats and especially their weak responses give me a flashback to the answers I get when I ask administrators in our district about anomalies between what is reported to us from "staff"and what we hear from teachers, parents, and students.

 Although we know many blatant and unacceptable behaviors are being minimized in official reports to make things look better than they actually are locally-I always get the same generic response like "each incident is unique" or "teachers that complain are outliers" or  "this is a community issue" or "we are limited in what we can do" the worst one "we are doing all we can"

We are not doing all we can.  I know that.  Teachers know that.  Parents know that.  Students  know that.  The Geico Owl knows that---everybody knows that.

Everybody knows that we are minimizing infractions for political correctness' sake and to make administrators and educrats' jobs less stressful.

But, now we know that Rep Adkins knows this and is not afraid to ask about it.  Apparently so do Reps. Raulerson, Sprowls, and Antone.  I hope they stay on this issue.

When I am in Tallahassee next week and the week after, I intend to secure a meeting with Rep. Adkins to discuss this issue further.

It appears from the way this K-12 committee meeting discussion ended, SESIR reporting protocols and categories are about to be overhauled and more scrutiny will be applied to the district reporting end of this process--both very solid outcomes from this meeting.

1 comment:

Gulagathon said...

Reports are definitely under reported. They are under reported because the administration will make the teachers feel inadequate if they write too many referrals. They say "Something must be wrong with your classroom management", "Maybe you need some more workshops". Hiding the issue just makes the problem worse. The dean at the school I was at, wasn't willing to do all of the extra work. I find nothing wrong with punishing kids who are hindering other students learning process. Why would that be a bad thing?

It's a sick culture because some teachers will act like everything is alright in their classroom, and say that a bad kid doesn't act up in his or her class to make him or herself look good, and say in so many words that you must be inadequate because you can't handle that bad kid. The only way to get through these problems, is team work. This is a bigger than personal egos! Stand alone we get taken out one by one; stand together we are a powerful force.