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Letter: School discipline data doesn’t tell the whole story

April 25, 2017 GMT

While I share concerns about disciplinary disparities in Rochester Public Schools, I have to agree with Schools Superintendent Michael Munoz’s decision to keep the individual school data private at this time. As with standardized test results, schools are far more than a set of numbers. Each school is a living, evolving community that changes literally minute-by-minute, classroom-by-classroom, and person-by-person.

If community members, including parents, want to make a difference with discipline in the schools, go into the school communities. Support the students. Become a mentor. Help assure they won’t be hungry at home over the weekend. Build relationships with kids. Meet their families. Learn about their cultures.

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Support the teachers. Advocate for smaller class sizes. Recognize them as professionals. Don’t expect them to do more with less.

Support the schools. Help make sure they are getting the funding they need to hire the support staff students need. Write your state legislators to tell them public schools are important.

Disciplinary discrepancies exist and things need to change. Data is helpful, but numbers never tell the entire story.

Amy L. Nelson

Rochester

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