Thursday, July 26, 2007

Trouble Makers in Public Schools in Philadelphia

Are outsourced, according to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. If a student is disruptive and unruly multiple times, they are sent to either special classrooms or a special school. These environments have strict behavior guidelines, emotional counseling, and academic support. Funding for these programs has been cut to less than half of its current level in the state budget.

In a typical move, the state legislators are going to cut the program as a half-assed way to figure out if it's working. It reminds me of when talking on cell phones in cars was outlawed and a study was implemented at the same time to determine if cell phones were responsible for higher accident rates. Wouldn't you know that information prior to making it illegal?

Legislators, who were concerned that the state tab was mounting without evidence of the schools' effectiveness, decided to take what one called a "time-out" to find if the schools work.

Philadelphia officials, though, fear reducing the spaces available for disruptive students could cause violence in schools to rise only months after the district promised to crack down in response to a surge in student assaults on teachers.


Under former CEO Paul Vallas, the number of students transferred to disciplinary schools jumped 56 percent between 2002-03 and the last academic year when nearly 7,000 students - most in fifth through 12th grades - were sent for repeat behavioral problems.

This is Philadelphia! The article talks about a teacher who had his neck broken by students. Having a place that is not a jail cell that can help students understand self-discipline (or at least keep them in line since the state insists they must be in school) when they are disruptive to the rest of the school seems like a good idea.

Ideally, of course, disruptive students should be kicked out of school.

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