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house Bill H.R. 6798

Should a Federal Database of School Safety Research be Available to School Officials?

Argument in favor

Keeping students safe in school is a public policy priority. Giving educators access to research about best practices in school safety and helping students with mental health issues will help keep schools safer.

Alec's Opinion
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10/02/2018
David brings up a good point, that Trump's administration (betsy) is not equipped or trustworthy enough to logically do this, but I think our educators do need this.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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10/02/2018
Why would anyone vote no on this? More accessible information is always good for things like this. I’m dissatisfied that studies on gun violence arn’t included, but there isn’t much modern work in the USA in that field since Congress effectively banned it. Work with what you got.
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Ed's Opinion
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10/02/2018
As long as this is factual and based on sound science and social science.
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Argument opposed

There are already plenty of ways for educators to access information about best practices in school safety and handling students’ mental health problems, and this bill may not put better information in their hands.

davidf's Opinion
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10/02/2018
Not under Betsy DeVos or anyone else in the Trump Administration. This Administration cannot be trusted to do science with any validity since they don’t believe in it. Any data they do obtain is more likely to be used for harm than good.
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Bobbi's Opinion
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10/02/2018
Until gun violence data is included in this it's a joke.
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Zachary's Opinion
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10/03/2018
If gun violence is not tracked it is a non starter. Further, i am concerned about the focus on mental illness... running up to ostracized kids and telling them they are crazy and that you are worried theu will kill people seems like a very GOP way to avoid talking about gun control and gun violence
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedSeptember 13th, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 6798?

This bill — known as the Make Schools Safer Act — would require the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the Education Dept. to make research about school safety available to elementary and secondary school officials and school counselors through the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC). That would include best practices for educating appropriate school personnel on techniques for identifying students who may pose a violent threat would be made available under this bill.

Additionally, the IES Director would collaborate, as appropriate, with healthcare professionals, state and local law enforcement, youth organizations, and parents to implement procedures for:

  • Early identification of students at risk of committing violence, including those who may have mental illnesses;

  • Use of crisis response systems;

  • Use of referral mechanisms for mental health and other treatment services; and

  • Designing interventions for students at risk of committing violence, including those who may have mental illnesses.

This legislation does not authorize either advocacy or promotion of gun control.

Impact

Elementary and secondary school officials; elementary and secondary school guidance counselors; Dept, of Education; and the Institute of Education Sciences.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6798

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) introduced this bill to require the Institute of Education Sciences’ Director to include studies and resources relating to school safety and mental health in the What Works Clearinghouse:

“School safety should be a priority for every level of government. While I do not want the federal government to mandate how schools protect their students, I believe it is appropriate for the federal government to provide high quality research and information to schools about the best practices for keeping students safe, coordinating with law enforcement, and identifying at-risk students. My bill offers a simple yet profound step toward making our schools safer.”

Straight Talk on Evidence criticizes WWC, contending that it often reports on shoddy studies and represents them as significant:

“Our concern is that the WWC equates small preliminary studies, which are often unreliable, with larger, more definitive evaluations. In a number of cases, this results in the WWC determining that programs are beneficial when the evidence suggests exactly the opposite… [T]he WWC routinely reports programs as having positive or potentially positive effects based solely on preliminary studies (i.e., when the WWC has not found a more rigorous evaluation of the program). Illustrative examples include Read Well, First Step to Success, and ClassWide Peer Tutoring. Although these programs may be good candidates for further evaluation based on the positive initial findings, most of these findings would likely be reversed in a more definitive evaluation, based on the long history of rigorous evaluations in education and other fields.”

This legislation has the support of one cosponsor, who is also a Republican.


Of NoteThe What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an IES investment established in 2002. WWC is meant to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central source of scientific evidence on what works in education to improve student outcomes. WWC’s goal is to help decision-makers contend with differing messages from various research studies and product offerings by serving as a web portal to comprehensive, systematic, high-quality reviews of studies on the effectiveness of educational programs, products, practices, and policies.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / fstop123)

AKA

Make Schools Safer Act

Official Title

To require the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences to make available to elementary and secondary school officials research for improving school safety, and for other purposes.

    David brings up a good point, that Trump's administration (betsy) is not equipped or trustworthy enough to logically do this, but I think our educators do need this.
    Like (28)
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    Not under Betsy DeVos or anyone else in the Trump Administration. This Administration cannot be trusted to do science with any validity since they don’t believe in it. Any data they do obtain is more likely to be used for harm than good.
    Like (68)
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    Until gun violence data is included in this it's a joke.
    Like (49)
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    If gun violence is not tracked it is a non starter. Further, i am concerned about the focus on mental illness... running up to ostracized kids and telling them they are crazy and that you are worried theu will kill people seems like a very GOP way to avoid talking about gun control and gun violence
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Why would anyone vote no on this? More accessible information is always good for things like this. I’m dissatisfied that studies on gun violence arn’t included, but there isn’t much modern work in the USA in that field since Congress effectively banned it. Work with what you got.
    Like (22)
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    This needs to include information on gun safety in order to truly be considered comprehensive and evidence based. Additionally, much of this information is already accessible to school professionals
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    Keeping students safe in school is a public policy priority. Giving educators access to research about best practices in school safety and helping students with mental health issues will help keep schools safer. 10*2*18.......... SneakyPete..........
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    As long as this is factual and based on sound science and social science.
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    Yes
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    Not your business. Local issues need to be dealt with locally
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    Only if ALL the SCIENTIFIC research is included. And that would include research on gun violence.
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    School administration should be restored to the State level. Abolish the Department of Education!
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    If there's a market for it, consumer demand will spur the market to develop it. If you have to write a law to force it into existence, it means there is not sufficient demand to make it worthwhile to create. This principle applies to...well, EVERYTHING. The sooner you understand this basic economic truth, the sooner you realize why government is the exact wrong institution for trying to accomplish anything useful, helpful, and good.
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    Non-Governmental Organization material. Not something taxpayers should pay for.
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    If you won’t let school officials see school safety data - we’ll vote you out of office. What possible reason is there NOT to allow this? Is there anyone in Congress with a functioning brain!
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    Yes, who wants to keep this data from the people who are most impacted?
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    A little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, but it sure beats the hell out of ignorance.
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    Why does there need to be a vote on this at all? Make it available and if the schools choose to use it they may.
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    More information enables administrators and school leaders to make better decisions. We can't just guess our way out of the problem of violence in schools. We need data that provides direction to decisions. As an educator, I am terrified by the "shots in the dark" that are being taken to solve these problems. People who say- "arm teachers", "put in metal detectors", "more cameras". Really? Have you ever been in a school? There are many complex factors that impact children's development- poverty, mental illness, trauma, lack of connections. There needs to be more research to determine which of these factors have the greatest correlation with decreased school safety, and this research absolutely needs to be shared with decision makers in schools.
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    This looks like 2 questions. First, should research that currently exists be made available. Well, of course, if it's been collected at taxpayers expense, it should be publicly available. 2nd, buried question, should more be collected? No. Schools are local. Washington continues to creep into the public school control atens
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