Catlady has made my morning chores easier by already addressing the interesting story in today’s AJC about the number of suspensions in Georgia schools and whether all this time spent out of the classroom impacts learning and ultimately hurts rather than helps.
Gracie Bonds Staples reports:
According to state Department of Education figures, more than 370,000 students were placed in in-school and out-of-school suspension last year.
In all, Georgia students lost more than 1.8 million days of instruction last year due to suspensions.
As a parent, I will tell you that the threat of suspension catches my attention. In his senior year of high school, my oldest son began to slack off on getting to school on time. Based on his late slips, he never was more than three or four minutes late but his first period teacher was rightfully indignant. When we received the letter that he was nearing the point of suspension, we went bonkers and introduced a Marine-style regimen to his mornings, beginning with an occasional bugle wake-up by my trumpet-playing husband.
So, I understand the power of strong medicine in inducing behavior changes, both in parents and kids.
But it seems like missing class will only add to a student’s ill behavior. Here is what Catlady posted. Please read her comments and the story and let’s discuss as this is an important issue.
FROM CATLADY’S POST: I am appauled at the simplistic article in the paper that being suspended causes children to drop out. I guess we now will say that drinking coffee on an airline causes air turbulance!
Children are suspended for a reason. In my school, virtually NEVER, even for ISS. But I accept that in other counties discipline standards are better adhered-to. Children who are suspended have ALREADY dropped out–they have already disengaged, for various reasons, with their education. The children who do behave appropriately are already subjected to many, many hours of disruption by these in-school dropouts. That many of them are way behind is not a surprise. One of the ways that students get behind is failing to take any responsibility for their learning. I currently push into 2 classes where the majority of the students are a year or two behind in reading NOT because of lack of ability, but because their behavior interferes in their learning. They are accustomed to doing as they wish, and have no practice in focusing on anything they don’t want to do. Luckily they are grouped together now so they don’t impede the learning of so many others in reading. Unfortunately there are still a few kids in these classes who do want to learn but are impeded by lack of English. I’d like to get them out of there, as they lose significant time waiting on their classmates to engage in a positive way so that the class can go forward.
While being sent out of class is frequently a negative for these kids, it is a positive for the others in the class. And sometimes, as noted in the article, the PARENT can make the ISS experience positive for the child by reinforcing that it should not happen again.
Like the old days when parents had pride in their children’s positive behavior, instead of whining and giving more attention to them as “victims.
Maureen again: One of our regular posters is working on an op-ed for me on this issue and I hope she posts today as I think she takes a different view than Catlady.
What is your view?