Monday, October 29, 2012

APS surrenders bullying stats

You will be comforted to learn that bullying occurs on campuses and in classrooms, on average, only five times per school, per year. 

Please take a moment to let that number sink in,
and the circumstances that generated it.

As predicted, link, there is a paucity in data.

Bullying in the APS is no longer the story.

The story now is; how does a guy that for his entire superintendency, has not collected statistics on bullying, drugs, weapons, thefts, and robberies at school, get away with it?

The last audit of their publicly funded private police force found; crime statistics were routinely falsified by administrators trying to create a false public perception.

How does APS Supt Winston Brooks get away with failing to gather statistical evidence of his failure to re-instate the authority of adults and restore order at school?

As far as his school board is concerned, he gets away with it because that is what they expect him to do; protect APS' public perception even if he has to lie about it.  Even if he has to hide evidence of felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators.  The board expects that, individually and collectively.

As for his subordinates and citizen stakeholders, there is his Praetorian Guard, a publicly funded private police force, to keep them in fear of retribution and retaliation should they decide to expose administrative or executive corruption and incompetence.

As for stakeholders, there is a local media that is disinclined to investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

In fairness, KRQE, link, implied some resistance from "APS" to their efforts to get the statistics they were looking for.  They did not identify the pol or board member or public servant who gave them the runaround.  Apparently reporter Alex Tomlin had simply asked for their candid, forthright and honest response to a legitimate question; will you show us the statistics you have collected on bullying, and was told she would have to file a formal request.  The formal request process allows "APS" to then interject 15 and 30 day delays at will.

She did not ask for, or did not report upon APS' surrender of statistical truth about all criminal behavior on campuses.

Even I was stunned to learn, in order to keep "bullying" down, "APS" has decided, the first time a kid bullies or gets bullied, does not count as "bullying".

The district has a clear definition for bullying,
“Conflict is a one time incident, bullying is something that happens over time and continues to happen.”
He gets away with it by trotting out APS' newest inner circle member Kris Muerer.  She will be the flak catcher with regard to his failure in ensure accurate and complete data gathering.

In her report, Tomlin identifies Muerer only as "with APS" and not by her title and standing as their newest senior administrator.  I thought that odd.

Meuerer's job is the same job of every senior administrator; solve problems while hiding their extent; to end bullying in the APS while at the same time trying to hide its breadth and depth.

KRQE reports that "APS" admitted they never actually gathered bullying data as such.  The data' unexplained combobulation with other data hid bulling data forever.  "APS" apparently will not be able to gather bullying data as such, this semester, or the next.  "Probably" by next year, maybe.

They do report 1337 incidents.  Hell, there were probably that many fistfights posted on YouTube alone.
The district suspects less than half of those 13-hundred reports filed last school year were cases of actual bullying.
If that's true, that would amount to about five cases of bullying per school last year.
Ask a teacher; if they believe there were less than six fights a year, per school, in the APS?  Ask a teacher if they went looking, could they find five bullies in one passing period in one hallway?
APS also says there will always be bullying victims that don't come forward, “If you don't know about it you can't do anything about it.”

APS has a rule on data gathering.  If you note that you have gathered several years of data, and the trending data makes the administration look corrupt or incompetent, change the way you gather the data.  Bullying data will enjoy no exception;
In order to figure out just how big of a problem they are really dealing with the district is changing the way schools report bullying this year. Those reports will now longer be lumped in with assaults.
If data shows increasing incidence; claim better record keeping just makes it seem that way;
They are also tracking the cases closer.
Meuerer offered;
“We don’t report all classroom behavior things because if we did that's all we would be doing reporting all day long.”
Did she, or did she not, just admit a problem so large that even the keeping track of it is problematic?  Did she or did she not, just admit to chronic disruption of the educational process?

photos Mark Bralley

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are at least 5 bully reports submitted in my middle school EVERY day.