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Safety in Numbers: Collecting and Using Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools
Chapter 1
  Using Data to Make a Difference
Chapter 2
    Meeting the Challenges of Data Collection
Chapter 3
    Reporting Incident Data
Chapter 4
    Collecting Data
PDF File (491 KB)

Ghedam Bairu

(202) 502-7304



The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the National Forum on Education Statistics (the Forum) are pleased to release this "Safety in Numbers" handbook. This handbook is designed to be used by school, district, and state staff to improve the effectiveness of their efforts to collect and use disciplinary incident data. It provides recommendations on what types of data to collect, why it is critical to collect such data, and how the data can be used effectively to improve school safety and answer policy questions relating to school improvement and the safety of our students.

NCES, as part of the U.S. Department of Education, maintains a Cooperative Education Statistics System with the states and outlying areas to improve the quality, comparability, and uniformity of elementary and secondary school data. The Forum members represent states, school districts, and other institutions that are major providers and users of education data. The Forum provides an arena for the discussion of educational issues and the development of new approaches for data collection and utilization.

In 1996, the Forum published "Recommendations of the Crime, Violence, and Discipline Reporting Task Force," a report that outlined a set of definitions and protocols for the collection of crime, violence, and discipline data. As part of an ongoing effort to promote data-driven educational policy decisionmaking, NCES and the Forum reconvened the Crime, Violence, and Discipline Task Force in 2000 to update the initial report. This work was a collaborative effort of the state and school district administrators, education policy researchers, and Federal Department of Education program and research staff who comprise the Crime, Violence, and Discipline Task Force. These individuals have a range of expertise, including data collection and analysis, school administration, classroom instruction, and policy development and implementation.

We hope that this handbook will contribute to the development of valid and comparable data on school crime, violence, and discipline to promote effective policy decisions and safe learning environments.

Jeffrey Owings   Annette Barwick
Associate Commissioner William Smith
Elementary/Secondary and Libraries Studies 
National Center for Education Statistics
Crime, Violence, and Discipline Task Force

Members of the Crime, Violence, and Discipline Task Force

Annette Barwick, Hillsborough County School District, Florida
Bill Smith, Sioux Falls School District, South Dakota

Bunny Mack, South Carolina State Department of Education
Susan Meston, Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, Michigan
Linda Rocks, Bossier Parish School Board, Louisiana
Brad James, Vermont State Department of Education
Carolyn Brown, Fairfield City School District, Alabama
Helene Bettencourt, Massachusetts State Department of Education
Judith Holt, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education
Amanda Miller, Education Statistics Services Institute
Debbie Rudy, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education

Irene Hantman, Westat

Project Officer
Ghedam Bairu, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education