Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Charter Schools and Positive Discipline

Here is a story, from the New York Daily News, about the discipline practices at a group of charter schools in New York that are operated by Success Academy. The Success Academy schools have extraordinarily high suspension rates and extraordinarily high test scores.

This would appear to provide evidence that suspensions improve education rather than worsen it. That's contrary to the story told by LEV about the detrimental effect of suspensions and expulsions.


mirmac1 said...

Dont' know why you have "Positive Discipline" in the title Charlie. That is not even mentioned in the article. Positive Discipline is a an approach to discipline that employs non-punitive methods and focuses on good behaviors. That is not what this charter is doing. This charter is breaking federal law and manufacturing high test scores.

LEV is not the only one pointing out the ineffectiveness of expulsions and suspensions - they're just late to the party. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been talking about the school to prison pipeline for decades.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Truthout had an article in early August about the charter district in New Orleans and here's what they had to say:

"Disciplinary actions spiked. Brianna tells of students being cuffed by police and pulled from classrooms, of classes dwindling and incarceration rising. Today, the Recovery School District boasts an out-of-school suspension rate that's four times the national average."

Four times the national average and consider that New Orleans public schools are largely minority.

The Washington Post reported that in 2012, two KIPP schools had the highest expulsion rates in D.C. - 5% of their students. At KIPP College Prep, 59% of students missed one or more days of school because of a discipline issue.

Some charters - in places like Baltimore and Miami - didn't have higher suspension rates in 2009-2010 but in San Diego, the rate was 8%. That's double what the public schools had. In Newark, it's 10% versus 3%. Chicago, LA and Philadelphia all had higher expulsion rates.

And naturally those who are expelled end up back in the regular public schools.

mirmac1 said...

Yes, the "New Orleans Miracle"

Mary Griffin said...

Charlie, I can't make sense of what your wrote. Yes, they have extraordinarily high rates of suspensions and expulsions. And, yes they have extraordinarily high test scores. That's because parents pull their kids out after their kids are repeatedly excluded from the school-as did the woman who is pictured in the article. Kids who aren't in school are not being educated and they are not being tested. Some people claim they also cherry pick their admissions. I don't know what their current demographics are for special educatio, but I would bet that they are lower than the average NYC public school of 17%. The average in charter schools is 14%.

I don't agree with OSC and LEV on a lot of things. They are right about positive discipline, but they are not right about how to get it.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, here's a good example of the level of "discipline" at one charter school, Veritas College Prep

I appreciate wanting the students to stand up and be quiet in line but this seems like overkill to me. I have to wonder what the students are thinking. The thing is the teacher has such a monotone in his voice whether he is directing them what to do or encouraging them to do what he says in order to get into college.

mirmac1 said...

Anyone? Anyone? (blank stares)

Louise said...

I thought Charlie was being facetious here?

Charlie Mas said...

Umm, yeah. This was sarcasm.

Next time I'll ring a bell so everyone will know.

I was hoping to point out the self-contradictory nature of Education Reform positions - supporting high-discipline schools which are charters while decrying high discipline schools which are traditional public schools.

Charlie Mas said...

Maybe the charters suspend and expel kids in innovative ways and that's why it's okay when they do it.