Wednesday, February 03, 2010

KCSS releases 2009 School Safety Report

The tenth annual report produced by the Kentucky Center for School Safety was released this week and once again my old buddy Jon Akers is doing the happy dance.

This from the Kentucky Center on School Safety:

The most significant good news is that a comparison of the data presented here with past reports reveals 10-year lows in the number of expulsions (both with and without services) and corporal punishments for Board Violations, which declined to the lowest levels since we began tracking the data in the current format in 1999-2000.

Additionally, these data reveal a dramatic reduction over the five-year period presented here in:
Total Disciplinary actions for Board Violations
Disciplinary actions for Disturbing class
Disciplinary actions for Board
Violations at each grade level in grades K-9
Disciplinary actions for Drug Possession

Additionally, for the tenth consecutive year, no criminal homicides or forcible rapes were reported.

Furthermore, encouraging developments can be seen in the fact that:

Part II Law Violations decreased over the past year.

There were very few disciplinary actions for menacing or abuse, disciplinary actions we began tracking this year as a result of KRS 158.156.

Nevertheless, not all the news from this report is good news. Despite decreases in both Board and Law Violations over the five-year period for students in grades K-9, disciplinary actions for both Board and Law Violations for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders increased over the five-year period. Additionally, both students that received free and reduced lunch and nonwhite students continue to be disproportionately represented in disciplinary actions for both Board and Law Violations.

Disciplinary actions for serious law violations also increased slightly from 2007-2008, with most of that increase in disciplinary actions for larceny-theft and robbery.

Finally, disciplinary actions for simple assault and drug distribution also increased from 2007-2008 totals, as did the total days that students were absent from school due to Out-of-School suspension. These findings suggest that, despite the many positive findings in this report, there are still areas where further study and efforts are needed....

KCSS reported that the the data collection process for 2008-2009 remained relatively unchanged from the previous years with two exceptions. The first was the addition of several Law Violation codes designed to more accurately measure threats and harassments by students in the school setting...

The second exception involved a statewide transition from the previous data collection system (STI) to a new data collection system known as Infinite Campus (IC) for all of the school districts. The transition caused a number of data issues, delaying the release of the 2007-2008 report for at least four months. But KCCS expressed confidence that successive reports using IC data will be even richer and more reliable because of the enhancements offered by that system....

The most important shortcoming in the data collection process that we continue to try to overcome involves the current inability to connect each disciplinary action to a particular student through a unique identifier.

Individual-level data (gender, ethnicity, grade, lunch type, special education classification, limited English proficiency, mobility, etc.) remain available at the school level; however, we currently do not have access to that information.

This continues to prohibit us from matching disciplinary actions with individuals. If we had that capability, data analysis could be more thorough and detailed. For example, examination of offender recidivism is currently not possible. This connection could assist schools in evaluating programs targeted to repeat offenders...

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