Collecting and Using Data
This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.
Having a plan for how a district will collect and use student incident data is essential before committing staff member time and resources to gathering such data. Safety in Numbers: Collecting and Using Crime, Violence and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools offers guidance to districts on creating an effective data collection plan. The handbook presents the recommendations of the Crime, Violence and Discipline Task Force on collecting disciplinary incident data in schools. Designed to be used by school, district and state staff members to improve the effectiveness of their efforts to collect the data, it provides suggestions on what types of data to collect, why it is critical to collect data and how the data can be used effectively to improve school safety and answer policy questions relating to school improvement and student safety.
The handbook's first chapter cites the four primary reasons for collecting incident data as promoting learning, improving school safety, managing resources and focusing discipline reform efforts. The second chapter addresses challenges to collecting data, such as ensuring accuracy, enlisting public support and financing data collection. Chapter three address reporting incident data in contexts of presenting data and reporting mechanisms. Finally, chapter four concentrates on the details of data collection as they relate to data and codes, perpetrator information, victim information and discipline information.
The handbook concludes with stating, "...it is insufficient to simply collect incident data. Rather, collecting incident data is the beginning of working towards school improvement. It is important for schools, school districts and states to use that data to develop plans for action in order to make a difference and improve the teaching and learning environment."
While not every district will have the means to develop a comprehensive data system, the handbook offers useful guidance to start at a level that meets a district's needs and resources.
To review the complete handbook, click on Safety in Numbers: Collecting and Using Crime, Violence and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools.
Source: Safety In Numbers: Collecting And Using Crime, Violence and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, July 2002
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