Giving Compass’ Take:
· Jeff Rose, CEO of Leading Ed Solutions, explains how anxiety related to school safety and recent shootings impedes learning for students, and how schools can implement the right solutions and policies.
· What can philanthropy do to support safe schools and students?
The status of public education is similar to how my pastor once described our beloved church, “a perfect mess.” All people are flawed and complex, and education entails older people attempting to teach and raise younger ones. As a career-long educator, I appreciate the beauty of all that we do to impact the trajectory of the lives we touch. Simultaneously, I recognize the fact that our school systems undoubtedly need improvement, and I embrace the challenging road ahead. I have served as a classroom teacher, principal, and a three-time superintendent across both small/rural and large/urban environments. I have witnessed trends and acronyms come and go, federal regulations shift, and our pendulum of what we deem important swing back and forth.
Some describe education as a large ship, in that it can sometimes be difficult to turn. However, considering the US school system is comprised of approximately 98,300 public schools, and 13,600 school districts, it’s more comparable to an expansive fleet. In my time as an educator, I have observed and been involved with many successful, student-centered, efforts and initiatives: allocating resources aligned to a theory of equity, improving supports for second-language learners, integrating personalized learning models, incorporating technology into the student experience, diagnosing student needs with the use of improved assessment techniques, and creating content and courses that translate to future careers. We have a long way to go, but we are making great strides. And at this current juncture in time, I am pleased, yet still far from satisfied.
Unfortunately, there is one major priority in which conditions are steadily declining. . . the physical and social/emotional safety of students. Due to very real, disastrous, and highly-publicized mass shootings both inside schools and outside of them, our collective fear has never been as rampant as it is now. The shocking events we have witnessed in 2018 and 2019 have awoken an apprehension in all of us, as there were more school shooting incidents thus far than in any other two-year time period since 1970. In response, I have seen schools across the nation increase and upgrade their security measures and infrastructure like never before. I have personally commissioned professional safety audits in a number of school districts and have established safety task forces that have resulted in and achieved:
Read the full article about school safety by Jeff Rose at Getting Smart.
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