NYSED Office of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 12, 2006
For more information contact:
Jonathan Burman, Tom Dunn, or Alan Ray at (518) 474-1201
School Violent and Disruptive Incident Data Made Available on State Education Department Website
Violent and disruptive incident data for each school in the State – as reported by school districts for the years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 – are being made available today on the State Education Department’s website. Schools are required to report the data under the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act passed by the legislature.
The school-by-school data for 2003-2004 were the subject of an audit by the State Comptroller which was released on May 22. The audit found a significant number of unreported incidents at many schools audited and concluded that the State Education Department should monitor schools and reform the reporting process.
For more than a year, the Board of Regents has raised very serious concerns about the accuracy of reporting. The Board is considering further reforms both in the reporting system and the criteria used to designate “persistently dangerous schools” under NCLB.
State Education Commissioner Richard Mills said, “I know school officials work hard to ensure that children in their care are safe and learn to the best of their ability. However, a recent audit by the State Comptroller raises serious concerns about the reporting of violent and disruptive incidents by the State Education Department and school districts.”
“I am providing the data for all schools in the state because it is important for the public to know and share this information,” Commissioner Mills said. “Adults need to talk about it with each other and with young people. We will use the data to improve reporting, and that is only possible if we all have a common understanding of the data and of what it means.”
“We share a solemn obligation to ensure the safety of children, and to do that, we must have accurate information. Only then will we know where the problems are. We must – and we will – do much more to improve the reporting system and ensure full reporting under the Safe Schools Against Violence Act.”
Extensive information on the data reporting – including definitions and a glossary of terms, the forms, instructions for filling out the forms, and a question and answer document – is available at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/vadir/vadir-reporting.html
During the next several months, the State Education Department is conducting monitoring visits to schools, including New York City and other large school districts in the State. The visits serve four purposes:
- Review violent and disruptive incident data reported by selected school districts,
- Provide technical assistance that will improve data reports in the future,
- Identify what additional professional development is needed, and
- Identify further actions that can improve the reporting system.
The Department is also:
- Conducting additional uniform training for school officials and
- Convening a representative group of school leaders to advise about actions to take to improve the reporting system.
- Consulting with school officials and reviewing and revising the guidance for reporting as needed to ensure that more incidents are correctly reported.
Other actions being taken were outlined in a response to the Comptroller’s audit and also released on May 22.
The data for each school and additional information are available at http://www.nysed.gov.