The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) collects this data from all of Alabama’s school districts every year. Aggregated data at the state level has been published in PDF format on the ALSDE web site every year beginning with the 2008-2009 school year.
Local school data is available for your school and school district. The local school report includes information about what type of discipline was administered in response to the incident. Most school districts post Student Incident Reports (SIR) online, but there are a few who still require you to visit either the school or the central board office to view the report.
The ALSDE’s Student Incident Report (SIR) reporting manual makes the case for why this data needs to be collected and shared with communities:
LEAs [Local Education Agencies] need accurate school safety and discipline data for:
• School improvement.
• Program evaluation and planning.
• Resource allocation.
• Mandated state and federal reporting requirements.
Without this accurate and consistent data to analyze, it is difficult for educators, parents, and communities to:
• Draw conclusions on the impact of any policy or program relating to safe schools.
• Determine which schools are accomplishing their goals.
• Evaluate progress.
• Allocate their funds in the areas of greatest need.
• Locate accurate data to apply for grants, complete applications, and seek additional revenues.
Here’s the 2012-2013 school year report with data aggregated at the district level.
While it’s great to have the data, it’s locked inside a PDF. So it takes a bit of manipulation (thanks again, Tabula!) to get it into a spreadsheet or a database or a Tableau data visualization like those below in order to determine if things are going well in your district or if there is a need to take a closer look.
[Yes, the ultimate goal is to convert all available data into spreadsheets to be able to examine trends and progress.]
As you go through this data, remember that these are numbers, not percentages or proportions. And in larger systems, the numbers may be larger.
Remember, too, that these numbers represent the experiences of our children in our Alabama schools.