I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Strong Disciplinary Procedures Narrow the "Achievement Gap"
I feel our discipline procedures are out of whack. I've discussed it over and over here on my blog, and every time I get a chance at meetings I discuss this. It seems that some students get harsh punishments for their first offenses.....Often including out of school suspensions for some first offenses. Other students, based upon varying circumstances but ultimately driven by political correctness--get chance after chance after chance after chance after chance, sometimes receiving as many as 39 referrals before they are finally kicked out. It makes no sense, it's stupid.
Parents want safe learning environments for their students and environments that are conducive to learning--It's the #1 reason parents choose private schools! And those administrators who support a skewed discipline system that attempts to placate some social justice organizations (that accuse us of institutional racism based upon discipline statistic OUTCOMES) will be the same ones in a few years asking "Why are our enrollments going down?" "Why is Santa Rosa's school population exploding and ours is stagnant?" Our enrollments are going down, and the "achievement gap" is getting wider, because our discipline process is uneven. . ..That's why! So what does discipline have to do with the achievement gap and parents leaving the public schools for private/home school/charters, etc.? Strong discipline and the narrowing of the achievement gap go hand in hand. This research paper points to the correlation. From the paper:
"by imposing a strict discipline code, principals can reduce the overall number of student infractions, which increases achievement both by limiting the number of offending students and by reducing the negative spillovers associated with disruptive behavior....t the threat of suspension deters students from ever committing an infraction, particularly those students who pose the greatest risk for poor
behavior. Losing classroom time as a result of suspension has a small negative impact, while exposure to disruptive behavior significantly reduces achievement"
The paper is extremely interesting.