How does school safety affect student academic achievement? If students are fearful, and do not feel physically or emotionally safe, due to bullying, weapons on campus, and frequent altercations in their school environments, then they are absolutely unable to focus on their studies.
Students, especially in middle school, and high school, are also aware when their teachers and support staff are not at full strength, due to anxiety about safety issues.
Our District needs to implement actual, effective measures that not only address the physical infrastructure of our schools, but we also must focus in on what the social emotional needs of our diverse school communities are. We can be innovative by listening to our students and educators, --not continuing to depend on a "one size fits all" model. We must do better at implementing actual and consistent plans of action, instead of just talking around the underlying issues and root causes of school violence. Our kids, parents, and communities are holding us accountable, and we must do better.
What role do MAPS testing and other student assessment tools play in the District’s attempts to help our students? How much testing is too much? How do we weigh the pros and cons of testing versus the complaints of lack of validity and cultural disparity? These are all concerns continually voiced by educators, parents, and students. I believe that a balance can be found, but all voices should be heard and listened to.