Alison's English 400 Social Issue Blog

Local & Institutional Resistance

Blog 8
By: Alison Tyler

My two solutions:

1. To make the schools a more secure place, meaning more security officers in schools, more security cameras, and more patrols outside of schools.

2. To have the community work together in reducing crime levels, meaning coming forward and giving a testimony if a crime was witnessed and helping in anyway to solve crimes.

These solutions may sound good on paper but in reality it would take a lot of money, time, and effort to commit to these solutions. Making schools a more secure place will include money and effort from the schools and the police departments. Having the community work together in reducing crime levels will include everyone working and living in the community.

However these groups may or probably will resent or resist my solution. Those who resist my first solution may feel that it involves too much money. Installing more security in schools is definitely expensive but in long run it could save lives. I know parents would feel a lot better sending their children to a secure school and not having to worry about what might happen. I know a secure school will allow to teachers and other staff to feel better as well. A happy staff can influence children’s education in so many ways. Those who resist my second solution may feel that it is dangerous and too time consuming. It is certainly time consuming and I can be dangerous but with the proper precautions the community can catch the bad guys. If they know everyone is keeping an eye open looking for trouble they may be more resistant in committing a crime. A secure community can create a happy community.

Each group has a strong influence over these solutions. In order to implement them it will take money, time, and effort. But aside from costs of these solutions wouldn’t everyone benefit in the long run? I believe so. I believe that a secure school will create higher education and secure community will create happier residents and workers.

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Possible Solutions

Blog 7
By: Alison Tyler

The immediate problem I would like to focus on is how the issue of crime affects the teachers and students in Petersburg City schools. I feel that crime and poverty is the cause of teacher turnover in Petersburg. The effects of teacher turnover is that the students and schools do not have enough qualified teachers, without qualified teachers students may not accomplish the education they deserve. My position in this is that when I graduate from Longwood University I plan on teaching in a school near my home in Dinwiddie County. Petersburg City schools may be where I have to teach one day and I do not want this issue of crime and poverty to affect how I teach and how my students learn. I have stated the cause of teacher turnover and the effects from it and I do not want to be one of those teachers who leaves their job because of issues going on outside the school. I want to be there for my students and make sure they receive the best education possible.

My solution to this is issue is in two parts. The first solution may be more reasonable than my second solution and is geared towards the teachers and students and it is:

1. To make the schools a more secure place, meaning more security officers in schools, more security cameras, and more patrols outside of schools.

My second solution is a much broader solution, yet I still want to include it because it involves everyone in the community not just the teachers and students. It may be cheaper than my first solution but it will require a lot of time and effort and it is:

2. To have the community work together in reducing crime levels, meaning coming forward and giving a testimony if a crime was witnessed and helping in anyway to solve crimes.

Some may say that the first solution is to expensive and who is going to pay for it, but more security will not only comfort the teachers it will also comfort the students as well as the parents. More security officers in schools will help with any issues going on inside the school. Security cameras will help catch any violence or destruction going on around the schools. The patrols outside of schools will be to monitor and make sure no outside intruders come in.

Some may also disagree with the second solution because it could be dangerous or almost impossible to catch the bad guys. With efforts from everyone in the community crime would decrease because the bad guys would be afraid of being caught. Reducing crime would create a friendlier environment for everyone to live in as well as create a stress-free environment for teachers and students.

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Redefining and narrowing the problem in Petersburg

Blog 6
By: Alison Tyler

While the rising crime rate of Petersburg, VA can be a broad issue, dealing with a large population, I would like to narrow down my issue and focus on how the issue of crime affects the teachers and students in school. I feel that crime and poverty is the cause of teacher turnover in Petersburg. It surely cannot be the money that pushes teachers away because the average salary for a teacher in Petersburg City Public Schools is $45,307 (Department). Compare that to counties located around Longwood University such as Nottaway County Public Schools with an average salary of $42,625 and Prince Edward County Schools with an average salary of only $40,675 the money is not that bad (Department). The effects of teacher turnover is that the students and schools do not have enough qualified teachers, without qualified teachers students may not achieve the education they deserve.

To support my reasoning of why I think crime and poverty is a cause of teacher turnover I found this data (Figure 3) in the article “Why Do High-Poverty Schools Have Difficulty Staffing Their Classrooms with Qualified Teachers?” by Richard M. Ingersoll.

Ingersoll says “the data show that high-poverty public schools, especially those in urban communities, lose, on average, over one fifth of their faculty each year” (Ingersoll).

Other Interesting Facts:
• In U.S. school systems the high rate of teacher turnover cost more than $7 billion a year (Hernandez).
• There are currently 229 available Teacher jobs listed in Petersburg, VA (according to indeed.com) verses other local areas such as Dinwiddie County with only 81 Teacher jobs listed and Prince George County with 175 jobs listed.

The effect of loosing teachers and teachers turning down jobs is Petersburg can be costly to schools and especially students. So what is wrong with unqualified teachers? The quality of teachers, including teacher preparation and certification, is an important variable that correlates with the influence of student achievement. With policies adopted by state for teacher education such as hiring, licensing, and professional development they make an important difference in what teachers bring to work, which enhances the quality of education (Darling).

This issue of crime in Petersburg is a problem that has a negative effect on not only teachers and schools, but on students as well. It is important that our students are well educated and ready for the future ahead. With less crime, creating lower poverty, teachers will want to teach in these schools. Qualified teachers and educated students will create less stress for everyone in the long run.  

Works Cited

Darling-Hammond, Linda. “Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: A Review of State Policy Evidence.” Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. .

Department of Education. “DLAS Document Summary.” 2012-2013 Teacher Salary Survey Results. N.p., 8 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. .

Hernandez, Nelson. “Teacher Turnover Costs Systems Millions, Study Projects.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 21 June 2007. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. .

Ingersoll, Richard M. “Why Do High-Poverty Schools Have Difficulty Staffing Their Classrooms with Qualified Teachers?” Center for American Progress, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

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My Position

Blog 5
By: Alison Tyler

Its hard to pin point exactly where increasing crime rate in Petersburg, VA has come from because it could be many things such as poverty, high levels of alcohol and drug abuse, low economic growth, and ineffective police systems (Zinni). When looking at unemployment rates there is definitely a correlation between the two. A study has been conducted throughout the United States that shows crime rates increase and decrease with unemployment.

The stakeholders of this issue of rising crime are many. Mostly those living within the community, those living in a surrounded area like myself, and those who work in Petersburg are all affected. The stakeholders I mostly concentrate on are the affected teachers in Petersburg. Trying to teach in a high poverty area can cause a lot of stress on teachers, maybe causing them to quit their jobs or turn a job down in certain areas. Failing to fill up classrooms with qualified teachers is one of the most important problems in contemporary American Education (Ingersoll). According to research school staffing problem are not due to teacher shortages, they are primarily due to qualified teachers leaving their jobs long before retirement.

Mostly everyone can agree that rising crime is an issue but how to solve this issue of crime and poverty is the question. There are many positions in this issue but two of them are very apparent to me. The first position is those who feel that crime and poverty in schools can be solved by hiring more security and creating stricter regulations. Parents and faculty of schools are going to be more involved in this position than those living and working somewhere else in the community. They can argue that the safety of their children is very important and creating stricter regulations will help mold their child into well-behaved student. Teachers and staff can argue for safety so they feel more comfortable at work and can focus on doing their job to the best of their ability. The second position is others who feel that going right to the core and finding a solution to the issue of rising crime would help reduce crime rates and therefore reduce poverty and its affect on schools. Mostly people from the community will argue this position. Both of these positions are controversial because cost and effort is an important factor in this issue. When trying to reduce crime everyone can benefit from this. It is going to take much effort and time to turn around such a damaged city.

What concerns me about this rising crime rate is that when I become a teacher I will have to find a teaching job and it may possibly be in Petersburg school districts. This issue does not only affect me but it affects others as well such as the people living in the community and those who work in Petersburg. Rising crime rate causes poverty and poverty cause a lot of stress on people. My main focus is that it causes stress on teachers, which can disturb the students’ education and learning. It is very important that our younger generation be prepared for the future and all of its unexpected challenges.

In order for this crime rate to decrease it is going to take time and effort from many. For students and teachers more security can be placed in schools, but for the community a solution must be created and carried out in order for everyone to benefit. I believe the students and teachers are important but so is everyone in the community and with the right idea and help from everyone things can change for this historical town.

Works Cited

Ingersoll, Richard M. “Why Do High-Poverty Schools Have Difficulty Staffing Their Classrooms with Qualified Teachers?” Center for American Progress, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

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What’s wrong and who’s side are you on?

Blog 4

By: Alison Tyler

The issue I have been discussing is the rising crime rate in Petersburg, VA. What once seemed to be a peaceful time, according to statistics, is now an area of high crime and poverty. Although I cannot compare Petersburg to Richmond, based on its population, Petersburg is a town I hear on the news more and more frequently. So rising crime rate is definitely an issue in any area but the specific problem I want to address is the affect crime has on teachers and schools in Petersburg, VA.

Crime in Petersburg can cause many teachers to either leave their jobs or turn down job opportunities with the schools. I can relate to this personally because I will one day be a teacher and I do live around the Petersburg area so my chances of having to teach in a Petersburg school are high. The issue with crime is also making it more difficult for schools in staffing qualified teachers. According to research schools staffing problems are not due to teacher shortages they are primarily due to qualified teachers leaving their jobs long before retirement. “The data show that high-poverty public schools, especially those in urban communities, lose, on average, over one fifth of their faculty each year” (Ingersoll 2).

Most agree that poverty does have an impact on education but what to do to solve the issue of crime and poverty is the question. One side may think that hiring more security will reduce crime happening in and right outside of schools. Those who feel that this will help are probably parents that argue for the safety of their children in school. They can use ethos by showing they are the authority in this subject. Most of the time parents are who we see when the news is interviewing about school related issues. They can use logos by persuading the audience, others with kids in school, that increased security will protect their children and keep them out of trouble.

Others may feel that going right to the core and finding a solution to the issue of rising crime rate would help reduce crime rate and therefore reduce poverty and its affect on schools.  Those who argue that an effective solution will help reduce crime are probably people in the community who feel change is needed. They can use ethos by trying to convince a bigger audience that the community has the authority and knows what is and is not needed for their town. They can use logos by reasoning with other centralized areas that this change will also benefit them as well.

While position one is centered and to the point, position two is broader but it includes more people who would benefit in the community as well as others. If both worked towards their goal anything is possible.

I did not have many statistics in the blog but I was researching issues in Petersburg public schools and I found this video that’s pretty interesting. It is about a proposal of two-year round schools in Petersburg that will increase class time for students and teachers. If this goes into effect this will mean a new schedule for teachers. Some may like and some may not. I couldn’t figure out exactly how to put it on my blog but I hope you can take a second to watch it.

http://wtvr.com/2013/07/10/some-view-year-round-school-in-petersburg-as-potential-solution/

Works Cited

Ingersoll, Richard M. “Why Do High-Poverty Schools Have Difficulty Staffing Their Classrooms with Qualified Teachers?” Center for American Progress, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Critical Summary 3

Fall, Anna-Mária. “Recruiting And Retaining Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers For High-Poverty Districts And Schools: Recommendations For Educational Leaders.” Journal Of Special Education Leadership 23.2 (2010): 76-83. Education Research Complete. Web. 2 Oct. 2013.

A big issue that I mentioned in this blog is teachers that teachers so often leave their jobs. I found an article I would like to use that explains how teacher turnover excessively impacts high poverty districts. In these areas teachers hold fewer professional credentials and their working conditions are more challenging. These differences in working condition and teacher quality are a major contribution to teacher turnover, which causes instability and limits the students’ opportunities to learn. This article gives suggestions on finding, supporting, and keeping highly qualified special education in districts and schools of high poverty.

Critical Summary 4

Mullen, Carol A.1,2, and William A. Kealy. “POVERTY In School Communities.” Kappa Delta Pi Record 49.2 (2013): 70-77. OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 2 Oct. 2013.

Since I keep mentioning teachers leaving their jobs and schools of high poverty having difficulty finding qualified teachers I thought I would include an article that’s offers insight for teachers in facing the poverty challenge in school communities. It suggests that teachers seemingly learn about their student’s culture and background and use it to guide “them to be well grounded in their culture prior to their assimilation of mainstream culture”. This article points out that problem solving and critical thinking can be taught, as these skills are crucial. Students, such as gifted students, should be placed in appropriate programs.

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Stakeholders of Petersburg

Blog 3

By: Alison Tyler

My social issue, the rising crime rate in the city of Petersburg, is one that has very many stakeholders involved. It can vary from people who work in Petersburg, however I am focusing mostly on teachers, to those living in the community and even those who live in a surrounding area.

When I chose this topic I considered what affect this rising crime rate would have on teachers since one day I will become a teacher. While I was researching I stumbled upon “The Top 5 Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is Rising” (Zhao).

5th: Burnout – more extended ours in school

4th: Threat of layoffs

3rd: Low wages

2nd: Testing pressure

1st: Poor working conditions

The first reason is what stood out to me because high poverty in an area such as Petersburg can cause teachers to give up or quit their job. This problem does not only affect teachers but it also affects the schools and community as well and I say that because I found an article that says, “ The failure to ensure that the nation’s classrooms, especially those in disadvantages schools, are all staffed, with qualified teachers is one of the most important problems in contemporary American education” (Ingersoll).

To answer the question who is invested in this situation, who puts their effort and time into this situation? I would definitely say that the police and others in the community are putting in efforts to help with this situation. According to the Progress index Petersburg Police Captain Greg Seidel said that his top priority is violent crime (“Community”).

The other priority for Petersburg police is to foster cooperation with the community. The key to fighting crime is citizens coming forward and helping police. That means citizens who are willing to report crimes, to be eyewitnesses, and if necessary to testify in court against others.”

As long as the community stays involved and helps diminish this issue crime rate could surely decrease. Ultimately the citizens of the community are the ones with the power and how they choose to handle this situation is up to them. If no one puts any effort into fixing this problem it could cause a lot of stress on businesses, schools, students, teachers, police officers, and everyone really.

Works Cited

“Community Policing Helps Lower Crime in Tri-Cities.” – Op-Ed. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Ingersoll, Richard M. “Why Do High-Poverty Schools Have Difficulty Staffing Their Classrooms with Qualified Teachers?” Center for American Progress, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Zhao, Emmeline. “Top 5 Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is Rising.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 11 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

Critical Summary 1

BAUMER, ERIC P., and JANET L. LAURITSEN. “Reporting Crime To The Police, 1973–2005: A Multivariate Analysis Of Long-Term Trends In The National Crime Survey (Ncs) And National Crime Victimization Survey (Ncvs).” Criminology 48.1 (2010): 131-185. Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

I choose this article for my critical summary because it linked to what Petersburg Police Captain Greg Seidel said about how citizens need to report crimes if they see them and this article is looking at the long-term crime reporting trends. By using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the National Crime Survey (NCS), and other methods they take into account certain affects in reporting at the individual and incident levels. This article shows that an increase in police notification has occurred in certain crimes but not others. The Police Captain proposed a good solution and I would like to pursue the idea as well as other ideas.

Critical Summary 2

Ming-jen, Lin. “Does Unemployment Increase Crime?.” Journal Of Human Resources 43.2 (2008): 413-436. Business Source Complete. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

The article Does Unemployment Increase Crime? is one that I have chosen for my critical summary because it contains rates and percentages on crime. It shows the correlation of increase in unemployment to the increase in certain crimes. This article also includes policy implications that explain 30 percent of crime changes. The author focuses on the change in state manufacturing sector percentages, real exchange rates, and state union membership rates as instruments to carry out their estimations. While it may have a lot of extra information in it I can still use this article to put together an idea of how unemployment is increasing crime.

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The History of Petersburg and Crime Rate

Blog 2

By: Alison Tyler

In my first blog I stated that the population of Petersburg is estimated around 31,973 people (“Petersburg”). I also mentioned that Property crime rates and Violent crime rates are much higher in Petersburg than compared to the state of Virginia. In Figure 1 below it shows Violent and Property crime rates in the city of Petersburg from 1999-2005 and 2007-2008 (“Petersburg, Virginia”). It is apparent that Petersburg crime has over exceeded all of those other cities for several years.

 Figure 1

It is hard for me to pin point exactly where this increasing crime rate has come from because it could be from many things such as poverty, high levels of drug and alcohol abuse, low economic growth, and ineffective police systems (Zinni). The one I want to focus on is an increase in unemployment, which is the direction I am leading my proposal in. Unemployment began increasing dramatically from 2008 to 2010 according to Figure 2 and has not decreased by much since then (Infoplease).

Year Rate
1999 4.2
2000 4.0
2001 4.7
2002 5.8
2003 6.0%
2004 5.5
2005 5.1
2006 4.6
2007 4.6
2008 5.8
2009 9.3
2010 9.6
2011 8.9
2012 8.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2

“Policies designed to increase jobs in inner city areas can have a direct, positive effect on crime rates” (“Identifying”). A study conducted throughout the United States showed that crime rates increase and decrease with unemployment. It is probably not a surprise that unemployment correlates with crime and that joblessness is a major influence in violent crimes. I have began focusing on Violent and Property crime rates and in my research I stumbled upon a piece by Christina Sloane, whose work has appeared in several national literary magazines, that says the highest correlation between crime and unemployment is found with burglary and theft. A fall in wages doesn’t constantly provide workers and families with everything they need, consequently causing a desperate need for money and stealing is what usually happens. “Unemployment and lower wages are also linked with higher assault rates, since money, not just hatred or revenge, can be a motive in violent crimes” (Sloane).

Before the town of Colonial Heights was so built up the town of Petersburg was the place to go shopping and eating, according to my parents, and now it appears to be a place of high crime and poverty. Hopefully one day it will return to its peaceful state. It my take several initiatives enforced by everyone in the community but it is possible. Unemployment is always a good start!

 

Works Cited

“Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime.” Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.

Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.

“Petersburg City QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau.” Petersburg City QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

“Petersburg Crime Rate Report (Virginia).” Petersburg Crime Statistics: Virginia (VA). N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

“Petersburg, Virginia Crime Statistics.” RecordsPedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

Sloane, Christina. “The Effects That Unemployment Has on the Crime Rate | EHow.” EHow. Demand Media, 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.

Zinni, Yasmin. “Reasons for a High Crime Rate | EHow.” EHow. Demand Media, 20 Mar. 2011. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

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The Problem of Crime Rate in Petersburg

Blog 1

By: Alison Tyler

Located on the Appomattox River just 23 miles south of Richmond is the city of Petersburg. Its population estimate is around 31,973 people (“Petersburg”). What once was a quiet historical little town has now turned into a disturbing and corrupted area. My social issue I would like to bring into focus is the rising crime rate of Petersburg, Va. Petersburg is located just a few miles from where I live in Dinwiddie County. After a graduate college as a teacher I could possibly have to get a job in one of the schools in Petersburg and with such a bad reputation it can make myself and other future teachers worried about what their job and environment mite be like while teaching.

I came across a website called Neighborhood Scout which gives you information on any location based on the “Violent” and “Property” crime rates in the United States. Petersburg Annual Crime Rates are per 1,000 residents with a rate of 164 for Violent and 1,575 for Property. Petersburg has a Crime Index of 8 with 100 being the safest. When comparing the violent crime rate of Petersburg to Virginia (per 1,000 residents) Petersburg succeeds with a 5.07 and Virginia with a 1.97 rate. For property crime rate Petersburg also triumphs with a 48.72 and Virginia with a 22.50 rate (“Crime”).

But what can be done about this issue? Throughout my research of this topic I would like to develop my proposal and narrow it down to an idea of what could reduce crime rate and what I think could certainly help resolve the issue. While there are many options and possibilities to reduce crime rates, the one I feel that is the most important is creating more jobs in Petersburg city. “A new study of crime across the United States shows that crime rates rise and fall with unemployment” (“Identifying”). Petersburg has been experiencing a rise in unemployment with the closing of Boehringer Ingleheim Chemical that is eliminating 240 jobs (“PLANT”). Petersburg schools also eliminated 46 jobs around 2010 (“Petersburg Schools”).

Over the summer I took Sociology 320, which is the Sociology of Education and during that class one of our chapters was about teachers having trouble staying in their careers due to bad experiences. Some of their experiences were trying to teach in high—poverty schools. My goal out of this issue is to provide hard evidence on how to make Petersburg a safer place, which will create a more positive learning and teaching environment for both students and teachers.

Works Cited

“Crime Rates for Petersburg, VA.” Petersburg VA Crime Rates and Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

“Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime.” Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

“Petersburg City QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau.” Petersburg City QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

“Petersburg Schools Will Eliminate 46 Jobs to save $2.6 Million.” Topix. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

“PLANT CLOSURE Boehringer Ingelheim Closing Its Petersburg Plant by Late 2014, Eliminating 240 Jobs.” Richmond Times-Dispatch. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.

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