Publik Skewl: Why Students Stay Stupid

Written by M. M. Giles on July 19, 2013

 

For instance, if you have a failing student in your class, you are expected to fill out a mountain of paper work, conduct daily interventions (document all misbehaviors while teaching the class), call parents regularly to discuss poor behaviors, meet with parents, his other teachers, counselors and administration at least three times before you are allowed to fail that student.  If the process has not been completed, teachers are called into be questioned. Because teachers may have several of these students in a given class and they teach 5 to 6 classes, it is an impossibility for them to effectively keep up all the required paper work.  As a result most teachers choose not to even begin the process and decide it is easier to give a passing grade even if the child has not earned it.   For those students who have teachers who won’t pad their grades and he fails several classes, the school usually offers what they call “course recovery” for those subjects. Somehow, in a two to four week time period, these kids earn enough points to pass the course for the year even though they have done nothing except disrupt other students’ learning.  The underachieving kid has already figured how the system works.  There is no real consequence for his behavior and it teaches him he doesn’t have to comply with rules or standards so then the unacceptable behaviors continue the next school year.

Another contributing factor is that a lot of behavioral problems do not get reported in our public schools. Administrators try to mitigate the reporting of certain instances to protect the reputation of the school and county.  And serious incidents get down played through creative means.  Teachers get reprimanded if they write too many referrals even though the offence is clearly on the discipline matrix. Many school administrators look at the teacher as unable to manage his classroom if several referrals are written.  While it is true that teaching in a low income school requires a very “with it” type of teacher, the behaviors that teachers are forced to tolerate are unimaginable.  Another issue is that students like to get referrals so they can be with their friends in Internal Suspension.  They use this as an excuse of why they didn’t complete their work.  It also gives them a certain acceptance into the “bad ass” crowd that these students eagerly seek.  I have seen these kids roam the school like little gangsters harassing and threatening good students with nothing done to remediate their behavior.  The peer pressure to conform to bad behavior is especially strong in low income schools because of fear.

Many teachers understand that referrals are meaningless.  Willing to risk there being a major disruption to the learning environment, they choose rather to try to work with the child to keep him in the room in hopes that he will complete some work.  Frustrated with the situation, many good students lose their focus and ambition and are the true victims in the low income school.  And the vicious cycle continues.

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 11.00.47 AMM.M. Giles is a writer for ClashDaily.com. Her specialty is assaulting the Left’s stupidity with facts, tact and grace. Prior to joining ClashDaily.com, M.M. spent seventeen years as a teacher in the Broward County Public Schools, Florida.

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M.M. Giles is a writer for ClashDaily.com. Her specialty is assaulting the Left's stupidity with facts, tact and grace. Prior to joining ClashDaily.com, M.M. spent seventeen years as a teacher in the Broward County Public Schools, Florida.