Saturday, April 15, 2017
School Discipline Issues Rise As Suspensions Fall.
Since Bill de Blasio became Mayor of New York City in 2014. one of his priorities was to reduce the student suspension rate. He and the Chancellor, Carmen Farina, implemented new student discipline policies that required that principals get DOE Central approval before suspending students. Another layer of bureaucratic bloat, just what an already bloated organization needs. As spring break ends, the de Blasio/Farina administration will be further weakling the student discipline code as student insubordination and elementary school suspensions will virtually be eliminated.
A study done by Chalkbeat found that 22% of all Principal recommended suspensions were rejected by DOE Central under the new student discipline policy last year. The numbers are probably higher since many principals who may have wanted to suspend students for repeated insubordination and school disruptions didn't bother to fill out the paperwork, knowing that DOE Central would not agree to the suspension. Instead, many of these students were sent right back to the classroom to interfere with instruction
The Bill de Blasio administration's lax student discipline policy that has reduced suspensions by 36% has also seen a corresponding rise in student misbehavior. The alternatives to suspension has been restorative justice, warning cards, and mediation. Few teachers have been trained in alternative techniques, since it costs time and money for the training. The result is that many schools suffer from chaos as misbehaving students are pushed back into the classroom to distract, disrupt, and destroy instruction.
Add the ever weakening student discipline policy with the ill-advised cellphone policy especially in high poverty urban schools,and is it any wonder that schools must resort to academic fraud to jack up their graduation rate while pushing out academically unprepared students into high education or the job market?
I'm glad I am near the end of my career and feel really sorry for the "newbies" entering the system as they will be blamed for the student's lack of academic achievement when its our progressive Mayor and his disappointing Chancellor that is the real blame for the school's failure to provide a real educational experience.