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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
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.