Because I feel very strongy about the discipline concerns posted, I wanted to share some information that is true, and that you would find interesting. First, I need to stay anonymous for employment reasons, both for myself and my wife. Suffice it to say, what I am about to share is common knowledge to school administrators, a few teachers, and most definitely the following central office staff:
Susan Jones, Director of Elem. Ed
Kim Miles, Director of Sec. Ed
ALL school administrators
Many SIT team chairpersons
In regards to the discipline situation, and the obvious outrage over the overwhelming numbers of discipline referrals, there is a very hush, hush document that sums up all discipline referrals in Wicomico County Schools. It is referred as the Management Information System Discipline Database. In short, this is a comprehensive data base that shows the school, the offense category, the month/date/year of the infraction, the gender and ethnicity. This report is NOT known to the BOE members beyond Mr. Willey, who certainly knows about this, but has most likely kept quiet about it. As you know, this report is one of the documents covered under the Freedom of Information Act and can be obtained much like our salary information is. I have used this database frequently over the years, and in my opinion it is the only discipline information that comprehensively sums our discipline data. I am simply disgusted over how poorly the BOE handles discipline - I can tell you that it is a first class sham. School administrators were first shown this data base at a meeting approximately four years ago by a MIS specialist. I don't want to use his name as I would not want him taking the brunt of the Super's burden - this guy is just a computer guru - a numbers guy, who does not work in the schools beyond the data he pulls down along with one other gentleman who is the head egghead. This discipline report was coupled with a very stern warning by Dr. Handy to not release it because the "....public would not understand". The truth is, ALL of the city schools would be correctly labeled as "persistently dangerous" by the state If the data came to the light of day, which would be a MAJOR black eye to senior leadership at the BOE. To request the report under the FOIA, you need only call the Wicomico County BOE at 410-677-4400 and request it. Please note that there are two versions of this report. One is the sanitized version officially reported to the state. The other one is the real deal, and is searchable back to approximately 2009, and is pass word protected. Further, school administrators have been told point blank to reduce their discipline referrals, which all parents and teachers want, but this 'discussion' went so far as Principals being told that they would be terminated if they were found responsible for releasing this. I don't have to tell you that while there are many corrupt administrators, there are a few that actually have some integrity and the best interests of their students at heart. Most Principals use a "cooperative discipline" program that forces teachers to go through a ridiculously long series of steps to curb discipline. The truth in my opinion is the fact that by forcing teachers to spend a lengthy Amount of time completing these sorts of forms, they just give up and keep students who misbehave. The administrators then point to their skewed data to show that they have reduced issues. Nothing is further from the truth, and I don't believe that even you knows just how serious the problem is at the Elementary Schools alone. ANY time a weapon ot drugs are taken it is swept under the rug. This is because it boils down to funding, Race/ethnicity issues, and in the persistently dangerous school label, investigations. It is so bad that teachers and administrators are afraid to do anything as they are routinely over ruled, and then 'engaged' so that they are properly counseled over these sorts of issues. Play ball and you can bat, otherwise you sit the bench. I hope that this is helpful to you in exposing the truth. Like I said, I have no motive other than wanting kids to be safe.