We obtained a mountain of data for our story about school violence. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has even more on its website.
You can get the state report cards on Illinois public schools by using this link to the Illinois Department of Education.
This is the spreadsheet for every school district in Missouri. missouri school discipline.xls The spreadsheet allows you to see how many incidents, the ratio of incidents and the type of incidents (weapons, assaults, drugs) were reported by each district during each year.
We also received a spreadsheet from the St. Louis school district which shows the breakdown of incidents reported at schools, including Vashon and Sumner high schools. Here's the link to that information. stl school weapons and assaults.xls
We also singled out two other districts: Ferguson-Florissant and Riverview Gardens.
Ferguson-Florissant did not respond to my request for a comment.
The Riverview Gardens District survived a data nightmare that lasted for years. Here's a statement I received from the district late this afternoon.
"During the 2006-07 school year, discipline information was collected manually due to indications that our computer network was failing. Only some of our information that we collected that year was transmitted due to the computer problems. The following year (2007-08), a complete network failure occurred during the transmission of all information to DESE and the data was destroyed. The "0s" that appear on the 2007 and 2008 reports reflect that DESE did not receive our complete data due to the computer failure. Riverview Gardens has since corrected the problem by implementing a new Student Management System that automatically tabulates all discipline incidents and exports them to DESE's system. We are confident the 2008-09 data will be accurately reported to DESE."
It's hard to imagine that there are large school districts operating with massive budgets that can't even tell you how many students got suspended for fighting.
Unfortunately it's true.