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.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
How Ideologically Driven Social Engineering Usurps Local Control and Damages Public Schools Part II.....
Beginning at minute 43:32 of this video (Items II, Part II of II & IV) and continuing through minute 47:00 I relay a concern that I have regarding the dis aggregation of discipline statistics based upon race, with goals set that specifically target reduction in discipline incidents by races for certain students.
This, I believe, is a stark example of ideologically driven social engineering that has been creeping into public education with a growing velocity lately, hastening the demise of the public schools. It is a real problem.
I have always disagreed with this approach because I feel that all students should be treated equally, and if we start dis aggregating behavior incidents by race in order to achieve goals by race then we will invariably lower the discipline bar to achieve these goals to the detriment of good and well-behaved students (of all races) and good teachers. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy in many respects.
If we want to truly start treating all students of all races equally, then why are we measuring their behaviors and setting goals for different students based solely upon their race? I disagree with this approach.
My biggest concern, which I voiced here, is that having such goals will lead to manipulation of the data and numbers at best, and a lowering of behavior standards to meet the goal, at worst. The schools will look at the goal and try to meet it--like the GEICO commercial states, "everybody knows this!".
I consistently hear from multiple sources within the schools that classroom behaviors at some schools are unacceptable, yet the teachers are being prevented from writing referrals until they go through a series of steps that serve to limit referrals. (special area teachers and other school employees and guidance counselors, librarians, etc. do not have to go through the step process, though, and this is infuriating to classroom teachers I have spoken with. It is an unfair double-standard)
This all concerns me because behaviors that were once absolutely unacceptable in a classroom are now tolerated in order to stem the numbers of referrals generally, and for certain races specifically.
As an example, a teacher at One Middle School in my district told me that students cuss at him and he cannot write a referral; he must put a "step" on a behavior incident form, and an individual student must receive several such "steps" within a certain time-frame before a referral can be written which would result in such a student being sent to the office or to a counselor. This is destroying teacher morale, and resulting in stressed out teachers and heavy churn at many of our schools.
Think back to when you went to school: Can you ever imagine saying to a teacher F%&# this! and then subsequently wadding up an assignment and throwing it across the room and not being sent to the office immediately? Well, if you answered no, then you would be surprised to know that this sort
of a behavior must be absorbed these days, according to several teachers I have heard from that work at different schools, before such an offending student can be sent to the office.
And other students watch and see the lack of consequences, and the misbehavior escalates geometrically through a classroom and eventually throughout a school.
And I have even heard just this past Friday that at one Northeast Elementary school, at least some teachers have been told that "They cannot write referrals on Black Students." (I will be looking into this on Monday when the district staff return to work, as this seems so outrageous to me that I cannot believe there could be any validity to it....But I will find out.)
But nobody seems to mind, it apparently is all about getting "lower numbers."
Yet in the misguided attempt to get "lower numbers" from some students, like some sort of a Crestor commercial, achieving lower numbers from some students will occur to the detriment of many other students, teachers, and school environments overall.
Why else would our enrollments be declining district-wide , and our teacher turnover numbers be increasing at some schools district-wide, while simultaneously our neighboring districts are growing exponentially? Could school/classroom environments have something to do with this? Uh, I think the answer is a big "YES!"
But nobody wants to step up and talk about this giant elephant in the room...
That is the problem with misguided attempts at ideologically driven social engineering, it creates collateral damage that nobody will acknowledge. But make no mistake about it, when a giant redwood tree falls in a forest, it does make a crashing, violent sound--even if someone tells you it didn't.
And liberal soft and gentle discipline protocols are creating devastating collateral damage even though some won't acknowledge this. Remember, what we tolerate in terms of aggressive, defiant, and abusive behavior toward our teachers from students---we not only condone, we endorse!
And therein lies the problem, the fatal problem that will eventually lead to even lower public school enrollments by middle-class parents of means unless and until we have the fortitude to drop the PC policies and enforce equal discipline in all schools regardless of race....
We apparently cannot stomach doing this.