Monday, February 2, 2015

Public Schools: Different Punishments

Laurie had pointed me to this Minnpost post.  And Jerry says that the Public Schools are not trying new things. In this case the schools are trying to reduce the number of suspensions.

The logic being that these kids do not learn anything by being sent home. It is deemed unfair since a much higher percentage of minorities experience this punishment.  And as I heard second hand from one school administrator, sometimes sending the child home to some parents can be dangerous for the student.

Minnpost MN Discipline Gap
Sun Sailor Suspension Rates Down
Sun Sailor Clean Out Bad Apples
Sun Sailor Fine Tuning at 287's NECA



jerrye92002 said...

Perhaps I should have been more clear. I'm all for the schools trying new things, but they should be things that we know improve education outcomes (we don't have time to "try things"), not to suit some stupid social "fairness" agenda. From what I hear, this program has already been harmful, because in order to reduce racial disparities in discipline it is necessary to over-discipline one group of students or under-discipline another. Discipline should be color-blind, and if there is too much of it, or of the wrong kind, the solution is to improve the disciplinary process.

John said...

"they should be things that we know improve education outcomes"

Please describe some of these knowns.

I am thinking that sending misbehaving kids home, instead of keeping them in school, does not help their academic capability.

jerrye92002 said...

Making sure every child reads at grade level by 3rd grade. Putting the best teachers in classrooms, paying them on merit, cutting administrative overhead and unnecessary rules, and on and on.

Sending misbehaving kids home doesn't help them, but it helps all the others and MAYBE has some rehabilitative effect on the marginal students if they are required (and helped) to make up the work. What doesn't help is to allow students to stay in school and for their misbehavior to go unpunished because they happen to be of a "protected class."

John said...

Your best practices are a bit generic. Often you say that Teachers should be able to handle large classes... And that it just requires good discipline...

What exactly is that?

And what should the public schools do with the most troubled and challenging students when their parents take no responsibility?

And worse yet, the Parents threaten to sue the school for punishing their child? Or punishing more minorities than white kids?

jerrye92002 said...

"Your best practices are a bit generic." Of course they are. I have not claimed responsibility nor am I being paid vast sums to effectively provide an education to all children.

"Often you say that Teachers should be able to handle large classes... And that it just requires good discipline..." There is no other explanation, since class sizes continue to shrink and achievement continues to stagnate. And I believe you agree, saying that disruptive students prevent other kids from learning (by definition).

"What exactly is that?" I think it starts with a challenging curriculum that engages every student where they are-- not boring the bright ones or leaving the dull ones behind. High expectations for achievement and good behavior. Rapid and customized intervention when poor behavior occurs, with an attempt made to deal with things within the classroom but not hesitating to remove the disruption if necessary.

I had the chance to look over your cites, and the purple room or whatever you call it is an excellent example of that sort of personalized intervention. It sounds as if it is helping, but that first piece also needs to be there if we expect true academic progress to be made. Big difference between "minimizing disruptions" and "maximizing learning."

"And what should the public schools do with the most troubled and challenging students when their parents take no responsibility?" I say expel both of them.

"And worse yet, the Parents threaten to sue the school for punishing their child?" Let them sue. Maybe give the schools more protection in law; the law already assigns responsibility to the parents and that can be useful in those few cases remaining after an effective discipline policy is established and operational. If pushed, the school can have the kid arrested, or they can counter-sue-- a class action--because the kid is preventing other students from getting an education.

"Or punishing more minorities than white kids?" Ah, here is the problem of government stepping on its own toes and making things worse. Minneapolis schools, faced with federal pressure, are simply abandoning (it seems), any pretense of discipline because it isn't "race neutral." That's not only unfair to the kids having their educations disrupted, it's unfair to the miscreants who "get away with stuff" because of their grievance class.

R-Five said...

Part of the reason for suspensions is to remove their disruptive behavior from classrooms. As an admittedly largely unrelated but nonetheless instructive example, the St Paul Schools decided to increase the main-streaming of special ed. students. Test scores: down. Teacher morale (including some resignations): down. Absolutely predictable and yet they did it anyway.

R-Five said...

By the way, speaking of doing dumb things - did you see that the unvaccinated MMR percent at 281 STEAM (Olson) is 37.5% (Strib 2/6)? Must be a Whole Foods nearby.

jerrye92002 said...

R-Five, that's what happens when the mission of the public schools becomes social welfare and social engineering, rather than education.

John said...

This problem has nothing to do with the schools, it has to do with people who are paranoid. Those Libertarians who think the government is willing to risk the health of their children in the name of some social control experiment.

jerrye92002 said...

Sorry about that. I was referencing R-Five's previous comment, about mainstreaming SE students regardless of the evidence that it is harmful to the education of all others. It may be good for those few, but to harm all others is a delusion only liberals can love.

John said...

Regarding Special Education main streaming, remember that it was the courts driving much of this, not the school systems or Teacher's Unions. I mean what educator in their right mind would demend thst kids with Emotional Behavior Disorder be put in their classroom?

jerrye92002 said...

I don't know that to be true. I think it was the federal intervention requiring SE and offering to pay for it that created the "boom" in the number of kids classified as needing it. Just thinking if I was on the School Board, and forced to classify kids as SE, being incentivized to do so, but not being fully compensated, wouldn't I try to put these kids, part of the time, into regular classes to hold down cost? Or to create some liberal social "goodness" without regard to reality?

John said...

Some Background

John said...

"forced to to classify kids as SE, being incentivized to do so"

Please explain this. Most districts I relate to are hesistant to classify students as special needs because of the fact that the costs exceed the compensation. Thus the big cross subsidy required from the general ed budget.

jerrye92002 said...

This is more of a suspicion on my part than a documented fact but it's based on three reasons:
1. Even if the additional funds do not cover the full costs, it is still more money into the school and by "liberal accounting" that is better.
2. Regardless of the money, liberal sensibilities would drive the notion that every kid is the same and must be treated the same, socially and educationally.
3. I understood that the enabling legislation actually required testing and established a very low threshold for classifying a kid as needing SE. I believe, but have not researched, that the number of SE kids has greatly increased as a percentage of the population since the legislation was passed. Cause-and-effect?