Wednesday, September 19

State audit: schools underreport violence

Via the New York Times' City Room blog comes a report released today by the state comptroller showing that schools often fail to report major violence. The report, based on analysis of 10 large schools data from the 2004-2005 school year, found that an average of 21 percent of violent incidents went unreported at some schools. At Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, officials even sat on information about a rape that happened on campus rather than bring down the school's numbers!

UFT head Randi Weingarten's response was perfectly on point: "With data driving all education decision-making, this audit couldn’t have come at a more important time. We have to ensure that schools are safe the old-fashioned way, namely because they are and not because incidents are going unreported. Making schools seem safer than they really are does a disservice to parents, students and educators because those schools don’t get the attention and resources they need to be made safer."

For its part, the DOE isn't concerned about reporting issues, because the tracking system the city now uses is "incredibly sophisticated," the Times reports. Of course, we all know that better data doesn't mean safer schools, but I guess now that the DOE's got data management under control, it can turn its attention keeping its students and teachers safe.

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