I felt this article was worth passing around because the topic is one that often creates strong debate in K12 education. Whether you agree or not, we all need to pay attention.
“Momentum Grows Against Zero Tolerance Discipline and High-Stakes Testing”
“Across the country, resistance is growing against public education's increased dependence on high-stakes standardized testing and on exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests. Whether from grassroots demonstrations, test boycott and opt-out campaigns, school board resolutions, or Congressional hearings on discipline, the message is the same: "Enough is enough!"”
“Parents, students, teachers and communities increasingly recognize what the research community has already established: overreliance on exclusionary discipline and high-stakes testing does not improve achievement or make schools safer. Instead, these practices damage opportunities to learn, particularly for our most vulnerable youth. The two policies are intertwined, with both having dramatically intensified in the NCLB era. State and federal governments must overhaul both to ensure that all children can succeed in a high-quality learning environment”.
“Truly outrageous cases related to discipline and testing often garner public attention. Six-year-old Christian, permanently expelled for "inappropriately touching" his kindergarten teacher; fifteen year-old Damien, expelled for a first offense of possessing a cell phone; sixteen-year-old Roger, "encouraged" to drop out weeks before standardized testing; young children breaking down in tears, even vomiting, as they face test after test in increasingly dreary classrooms. These cases are the tip of the iceberg”.
“Exclusionary discipline policies exacerbate the already serious racial skew in the justice system. The UCLA Civil Rights Project reported that schools suspend black students at more than three times the rate of whites. This widens the opportunity gap. A student who is suspended or expelled is nearly three times more likely to be in contact with the juvenile justice system the following year. Justice system involvement - especially secure confinement - actually increases recidivism. Nationally, about 70% of youth who have been incarcerated drop out of school”.
Read the rest here: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2013/11/momentum_grows_against_zero_to.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3
Sooner or later we will all have to agree on something because this is about our children.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III