The 1940-1950 chart: School Survey Hoax:
I'm going to number sections of this post, just to make things quicker (for me & for people reading)
In the wake of learning, from the Comments thread (thank you!), that the 1940-1990 school chart is way too vivid to be true (I wondered about that -- should have listened to myself), I've done some Googling re: school violence.
Haven't finished, but while I was at it, I remembered this passage from Elizabeth Warren's book The Two-Income Trap:
Today's parents must also confront another frightening prospect as they consider where their children will attend school: the threat of school violence....[T]he statistics show that school violence is not as random as it might seem. According to one study, the incidence of serious violent crime--such as robbery, rape, or attack with a weapon--is more than three times higher in schools characterized by high poverty levels than those with predominantly middle- and upper-income children. Similarly, urban children are more than twice as likely as suburban children to fear being attacked on the way to or from school. The data expose a harsh reality: Parents who can get their kids into a more economically segregated neighborhood really improve the odds that their sons and daughters will make it through school safely.Setting aside the question of whether school violence was significantly higher in 1990 than in 1940, the fact is that parents universally believe suburban schools are safer than urban schools.
41. Thomas D. Snyder and Charlene M. Hoffman, Digest of Education Statistics, 2001, NCES 2001-130 (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, February 2002), Table 150, Percent of Public Schools Reporting Crime Incidents and the Seriousness of Crime Incidents Reported, by School Characteristics, 1996-1997.
42. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice, 2000, NCJ 190251 (December 2001), Table 2.0001, Students Age 12 to 18 Reporting Fear of School-Related Victimization.
I'm pretty sure urban parents have the same perception of charter schools.
Charter schools radiate an image of safety and calm.
I believe parents choose charter schools in part because they believe their children will be safer in a charter school than in a traditional public school.
Are charter schools actually safer?
Hard to tell. They may not be.
Teachers' perceptions of school safety across all school levels tended to differ by sector. Private school teachers were less likely than teachers in other sectors to report being threatened with injury in the past 12 months. Among private school teachers, 3.9 percent reported injury threats, compared with 9.6 percent of traditional public school teachers. Teachers in charter schools (10.8 percent) and BIA schools (12.6 percent) were most likely to report being threatened with injury...They need to disaggregate the data. I have no idea what proportion of charter schools are "central city."
Among traditional public public school teachers, reports of being threatened with injury varied by community type. Teachers in central city schools were more likely to report threats of injury in the past 12 months than teachers in urban fringe/large town schools and teachers in rural/small town schools. In central city traditional public schools, 13.5 percent of teachers reported injury threats. In urban fringe/large town schools, 7.9 percent of teachers reported injury threats. In rural / small town schools, 8.6 percent of teachers reported injury threats.
One note: the fact that charter school teachers report a threat level as high as they do weighs against the idea that charters are cherry-picking the easy students.
Has there "always" been violence in schools?
The answer is 'yes,' but that is neither here nor there.
There has always been violence, period, but some places and times have been more violent than others.
The question is whether schools had become significantly more violent by 1990 than they were in 1940.
At the moment, it looks to me as if the government didn't really start collecting statistics on violence in schools until around 1990. (I may be wrong about that, but so far that's what I'm turning up.)
The label "school violence" didn't really exist prior to the 1970s (which is not to say that school violence didn't exist):
Source: "The School in School Violence: Definitions and Facts" | Michael Furlong & Gale Morrison | Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders | Summer 2000, Vol.8, No. 2, p. 72
Setting the quest for school violence statistics aside, it's well established that there was a large increase in "violence-related injuries and homicides among adolescents during the late 1980s and early 1990s."(Furlong & Morrison, 2000)
That increase affected the schools:
In some ways, society has expected a protective bubble to exist between the problems of our communities and the spillover into the school setting. Schools have remained relatively safe environments for teachers and students (Furlong & Morrison, 1994; Garbarinio, 1992); however, in some areas, the community norms and behaviors regarding violence have thoroughly invaded the school (Devine, 1995). This is particularly true in urban environments where there is a commitment to subculture norms and values that endorse the use of violence in solving conflicts (Devine, 1995; Wolfgang & Ferracuti, 1967).
Do some schools keep order better than others?
Within the same city and the same demographic, some schools keep order and some do not:
The 11 (Philadelphia) schools differed significantly on all five measures of school climate. The largest between-school differences were found for planning and action; clarity of rules; and student influence. Schools, therefore differ considerably in the degree to which students perceive that the school is making any effort to implement school improvements; in the clarity of school rules; and in the degree to which students have any influence on school policies. Note, however, that sizable but smaller effects were found for the other two climate scales as well: students feel more respects and they perceive that school rules are more fair at some schools than at others. Schools are not at all identical in the rules, procedures, norms, and practices that make up school climate.Rules and respect (warm/strict): that is the recipe for safe schools as well as for good parenting.
While one might expect that 11 public schools in the same large, urban school district would evidence similar levels of disorder, this was not the case at all....Schools varied to a great degree in how safe their students felt.
Four of the five school climate variables significantly predicted victimization: respect for students, planning and action, fairness of rules, and clarity of rules. Student influence on decision making had no effect. Respect for students had the greatest influence on lower levels of victimization.
The Effects of School Climate on School Disorder | Wayne N. Welsh | The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 2000 567: 88
We've known for decades that "authoritative" parents raise more successful kids, and yet somehow no one's ever heard of the research.
Kids need authoritative surrogate parents at school, too.
Traditional public schools expel students all the time.
That includes SPED kids.