Rumor spinning CSD to limit out of school suspensions

Hey Big john, help separate fact or fiction! Rumor has it Christina School District is limiting it’s out of school suspension to the most serious infractions where felonies would apply? I know some districts use in-school suspension but what I am being told is concerning to teacher classroom control. The SRO’s and school principals will determining consequence. However, I am it’s always been  the principal calling the shots for suspension and teacher can only assign detention without principal’s permission.      

RESOLUTION AGREEMENT
CHRISTINA SCHOOL DISTRICT
OCR CASE NO. 03-10-5001

The Board of Education of the Christina School District(District) enters into the following

Agreement to resolve Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Case No. 03-10-5001 to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), 42 U.S.C. § 2000 d et seq., and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 100.

Most us know about the civil rights complaint Jea Street filed and the above agreement was the result of that complaint.

Keep and eye on Publius who’ll swoop in here to attack CSD and John Young, But God forbid if we raise concerns about some of charter schools discipline issues. Publius will say complaints and concerns are falsie and it’s just charter naysayers stirring the pot.  

Regardless if the rumor is true or false, do you believe Christina should move into a direction of more in-school suspensions with students receiving behavior management intervention and have CSD utilize crisis intervention with a goal of positive behavior modification? Do we need a new approach in addressing student discipline? 

As far as charter schools, do you support charter schools kicking out disruptive students lacking criminal behavior! Why should the district be required to take charter schools misfits?

31 responses to “Rumor spinning CSD to limit out of school suspensions

  1. Let the justice system have first crack at them, if the offense qualifies. But otherwise keep it in school. Make sure the whole suspension is spent catching up on schoolwork, and make sure you have enough resources (teachers) to make that happen. And put somebody on the case to find out the root cause of the disruption.

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  2. I have to agree with Mike. If someone reaches for a cupcake and you cut off their hand with a machete, you create more problems than you solve. Suspending a child only works under the assumption there is corrective action that can happen elsewhere. The reality is often there isn’t. You create a bigger problem for all dealing with that child in his future.

    On the other hand, high school students tell me the incidents of fighting has dropped over 2 years to almost zero. This was first person; I’ll need to see evidence in numbers first, but at first glance, it appears that within the environment inside the schools, automatic suspensions worked.

    Perhaps what is needed is to imprison those misbehaving in padded isolation cells, give them unlimited access to only Jea Street’s cell number, and they can leave whenever they catch up to their grade level… That way schools maintain a good school environment for good students, and you do something constructive with those problem children..

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  3. I think the main thing is that the student should end up better off after the suspension than before. That represents a level of comittment that is too rare.

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  4. Kilroy,

    CSD had been cited for long term systemic disparate discipline practices that punish minority students disproportionately. When I ran for the board, I believed that the debunked theory of zero tolerance was largely the root cause. The OCR audit, and all available credible research, concurred.

    As a result, we eliminated the concept of zero tolerance from our code of conduct in 2010-2011 school year, notably after the debacles of the cake knife incident and the boy scout knife incident. Removing the zero tolerance aspect of our code was a strong first step.

    However, the institutional culture of disproportionate discipline practices does not then get instantly fixed. Of particular note, the reason behind the disparate punishments is a gnarly mix of problems, prejudice, ignorance and racism in some extreme cases.

    I can’t tell you the ratio of these three, but the OCR settlement agreement that we voted for unanimously provides that we modify our method of behavioral assessment and our methods of rewards and punishments to create a more equal distribution of both.

    We also must, whenever possible, err on the side of inclusive discipline and seek to reduce expulsions and out of school suspensions.

    This makes sense since we seek to maximize student achievement and seat time is a critical component of that.

    Bottom line: treat fairly, KEEP them in school, not out.

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    • Publius e decere

      Kilroy,

      You dog, baiting me out with the chance to wail on The Whale. Well I’ll say here, and mark my words, John actually has a rare good post here. Keep the kid in the system somehow if it is disruptive issues that prevail and then work on them at close quarters. However, my own point of view is that once a kid crosses the line with threatening behavior, detentions and suspension should be served at Ferris. Immediately. Shock therapy. I’m old school that way. Guns, knives, meth and muggings are cause for the harshest of responses .. Life training for the consequences of civilized society..

      How you twist this into a charter issue belies your prejudice. The discipline issues you use as the template for this blog post are a pragmatic matter for tough (but constructive) love. It is NOT a charter issue.

      Publius

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    • Best summit time?

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    • Beer Summit time?

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Publius you’re a riot! Sucking up to John to take a shot at me at the same time protecting charters who would boot a student out for not maintaining academic standards agreed to in the student charter school code of conduct! Would it be great if real public schools could do that! Bottom-line is charter schools are not real public schools until the racist admission barriers are removed and charter with specific interest to serve at-risk minorities is the most racist. Nothing but warehousing undesirables! The charter laws as it is was “crafted” to tactfully circumvent desegregation,

      Ferris is a joke as is family court’s ;level 3 probation aka suspended commitment to Ferris.Public school are required to take these juvenile delinquents where as some charter via specific interest denies them.Charter’s schools for disruptive students are the traditional public schools.

      So why aren’t you defending Moyer? Are you waiting for Frank to come to their rescue?

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Best beer summit time 🙂 perhaps in a few weeks,

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    • Publius e decere

      Kilroy,

      I was actually considering sending The Incorrigibles to serve time with you. Does that make me cruel?

      Publius

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Publius when I got involved back in 1996 raising concerns about DSTP aka Dave Sokola Tricked Parents I was labeled misguided.I did sit in on a roundtable group with Paul Fine and did get to weigh in with the big boys. However, because I opposed DSTP because they were linking an student assessment test to teach accountability I was labeled misguided. You my friend are in this narrow rut of thinking that holds you back from being taken serious! I don’t care what others say about me because I am the chef who puts the meat of debate on the table for others to chew and debate.You’ll stand on the Markell and charter lies whereas others might give it some thought and acknowledge some of the flaws. Pencader failed because folks like you protected Pencader Frank and not because he was a bad leader which he wasn’t but because he refused transparency at a time of great need. Once some of the former Red Clay idiots popped their heads out of their holes to rescue Frank DE DOE was determined to shut them down.

      Remember, George Washington was Incorrigible! As was George Patton!

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    • The problem, chef kilroy, is the meat you consistently serve is only seasoned one way. A quality chef would provide a variety for those dining to experience.

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    • “Pencader failed because folks like you protected Pencader Frank and not because he was a bad leader which he wasn’t but because he refused transparency at a time of great need. “- really? I think Frank coming to Pencader was too little too late anyway. How could he ever have gotten enrollment up in such a short amount of time?
      I think they failed because they sucked at advertising their school. (in the beginning) Then, through word of mouth, people finally started to learn about the school and all of the positives about it, at the same time, they were getting bashed by the media and getting a horrible reputation. I worried about them for years because enrollment kept dropping. I think enrollment kept dropping simply because parents were nervous of sending their kid to a school that continued to be on shaky ground. It was a catch 22 for a while there. They were coming up short on $$ because of low enrollment and they had low enrollment because they started doing things half-assed – because they were coming up short on $$.
      I know you want and should have transparency, but don’t worry about it where parents are concerned. I think most of them have no idea what is going on in their child’s school. They need to find Kilroy 😛

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  5. If they receive ‘Public Funds’, Charters should not be allowed to suspend students for routine behavioral issues. Unless like Philadelphia, you defund public schools and fast track these students to prison. Can I say, Philadelphia!!

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    • In school or out of school suspension should be up to the governing board as long as the school or school system follows state law. I’m not sure of kav’s sources but students have told me of seeing fights frequently, primarily in the middle and high schools.
      Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about only in-school suspension. In a world where parents have some responsibility, the difficulties created when their child is suspended should lead to some type of discipline system at home. How will in school suspension handle that student who refuses to catch up on missed work or who decides to be disruptive in the in school suspension room? Will there be space & staff available to handle it. This policy is destined to fail without answers to these questions.

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  6. How will in school suspension handle that student who refuses to catch up on missed work or who decides to be disruptive in the in school suspension room?

    How are schools handling a student who comes back from an at-home suspension three days further behind in his schoolwork? Sounds like a failure factory.

    The key is to amp up our intervention systems starting in elementary school. There should be enough resources made available for an in-school, academically focused suspension so they can be given without hesitation.

    I will postulate that the most disruptive students always give early signs in the form of not completing homework. Now we just let them ride – our intervention systems aren’t sensitive enough to identify that and recognize it as a serious problem.

    Don’t wait until the kid is assaulting people and six weeks behind on homework before doing something. Start before his failure cycle becomes set in stone, and let him know the adults care.

    I can’t believe I am suggesting this, but perhaps in-school academically focused suspensions can be given with less due process and fewer avenues of appeal.

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    • anotherpcsmom

      I don’t know the answer to this, just throwing out the question: When the ISS rooms have more staff, class sizes will be increased (due to the limited number of teacher units available). Would increased class size affect the behaviors of the students, and/or their academic achievement? If so, and the kids who are doing what is required of them are losing out, another solution must be found.

      (Speaking for myself, if my children ever had an out-of-school suspension, they’d better never do it again. Maybe in-school is too easy for the parents.)

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  7. If so, and the kids who are doing what is required of them are losing out, another solution must be found.

    Exactly. The rules for finding another solution are – no student is allowed to “lose out.”

    Adults (us and our parents) created this unsustainable world where 50% of students are poor, and the money the middle and working class used to have in their paychecks now ends up in the pockets of the upper-upper-middle class, who disproportionately send their own children to private schools.

    Our educational system was never designed to handle this dysfunctional world of 50% poverty. I am starting to wonder if it is even ethical for educators to plan on educating so many poor, rather than attacking poverty at its source.

    It’s like trying to educate children after a war, with professional educators writing dissertations and sponsoring conferences about the best way to educate bleeding children.

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    • Mike O,
      You have just displayed the problem with the education system & contemporary American society as a whole. Life is not fair. It’s all the fault of someone else. Therefore, your actions are not your fault. We’ll blame someone else and allow you to continue your uncivilized behavior.
      The behaviors that get students suspended are either encouraged or ignored at home. Because you want to blame that on poverty and society, you hold the parents blameless. Until people are held accountable for their actions (or inactions in the case of some parents), this society will continue its path towards collapse.
      When are you going to recognize that the only way to truly escape poverty is through education? Excusing those parents who allow their children to follow the path towards poverty is why you will not see any changes.

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  8. Speaking for myself, if my children ever had an out-of-school suspension, they’d better never do it again.

    Same for me.

    Oh – you mean the kid…

    If the suspension comes as a surprise, it means the school was too lazy or incompetent to pick up on the warning signs. Those would NOT be the people I would trust to continue his education after a suspension.

    Coming out of the blue from a kid who was never in trouble before would make me question how truthful the school’s side of the story really was.

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    • Not always. There are plenty of situations where the school is aware and attempting to engage the family for the good of the student and is met with “oh no, not my child…” Until everyone partners and all sides step up – including the student – then it’s a losing battle. I get poverty. As a child there were times I lived in the backseat of a car – but that never was an excuse for disrespectful, harmful behavior or not trying my best.
      Attack away, folks. I’m doing something to try to help in meaningful ways – not just having opinions. How about you?

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    • anotherpcsmom

      Whether it was “out of the blue” or not, it would mean that my kids were not doing their part to contribute to the learning environment. They have known, ever since kindergarten, that while we expect good grades, we REQUIRE good behavior reports. At report card time, we usually checked the teacher comments before the grade. In the rare situations that we did not see what we expected, we discussed it and came up with a plan for improvement. We are the parents. How our children conduct themselves in the world is, at least partly, a result of what we have taught them is appropriate.

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  9. When are you going to recognize that the only way to truly escape poverty is through education?

    Exactly. So let’s eliminate the suspension failure factory, and make education count.

    And sometimes not even education is enough. There are plenty of unemployed and under-employed college graduates out there. People who followed the rules, but then discovered the social contract was broken.

    Excusing those parents…

    First of all, who said excuse anybody?

    When you say “hold people accountable,” what exactly does that mean (other than self-satisfied chest-thumping) and have you really thought it through in its particulars?

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  10. This may have been suggested but why don’t charters take the public school miscreants?

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    • That is a great suggestion, and I’ve never seen it proposed–has it been? Taxpayers fund two (or more) parallel public school systems here. If children aren’t thriving in one, let’s move them to one of the others and see if that works better for them. Different environment, different peers, different rules & culture–it might help some kids.

      Of course this creates an incentive problem–parents who “lose” a lottery or other app. process could reasonably encourage their child to act up in their TPS in hopes of being transferred out…is there a way to work around that?

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    • Guess what happens if you remove the children who cause behavioral and academic chaos (i.e.-those that cause classroom disruptions, won’t study or do their schoolwork, interfere with lessons, etc) and put them in a parallel educational tract? You eliminate the need for Charter schools. How so? By removing them you allow the TPS teacher to do their job for the 75% who want to learn. The 75% trying to learn, learn more and at a faster pace. Even disabled children who aren’t in need of disciplinary action learn more and can be managed more effectively. The school becomes safer, the school can offer more extracurricular activities because it’s safer and the TPS becomes a more efficient system of learning which is what charter and private school parents have been asking for for decades. There’s your secret sauce, no magic, just educating those receptive and willing to be educated.

      Problem: The pc crowd will jump in and say it is racial or discriminatory or segregational even though it wouldn’t be based on anything other than school performance and behavior. Meanwhile we continue to spend an ever increasing percentage of time, money and resources from the school on a social problem that cannot be solved by the school and slap teachers about the head to be more effective dealing with social issues they have no control over.

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    • I agree that w/o the most disruptive students, most (maybe all) TPS’s would do very well & the vast majority of parents would be happy sending their children there. The question is, to where do we send the disruptive kids? We still owe them an education (perhaps not everyone agrees with this–but the state constitution promises that, as I recall). Right now, we siphon off some of the best-supported, best behaved kids into a few schools and leave each TPS to deal with both good and unmanageable kids, resulting in some level of parent & teacher frustration in many TPS bldngs. More efficient to siphon off the highest-needs kids (as determined by individual behavior & performance, not demographic profiling by race, income or whatever) and place them in an environment that offers smaller class sizes, closer attn., etc. This would help the remaining TPS’s to function optimally for the remaining children (those who do not generally engage in severely disruptive behaviors)–and in some cases, it would probably help the troubled kids. That would be the intention.

      Like any policy, something along the above lines could be implemented well or poorly–but it makes more sense than what we do now. I did briefly suggest this early in the NCS debate, but that HS idea–for existing NCS students, i.e. largely non-troublesome students–was essentially a done deal by the time most members of the taxpaying public knew about it. Genuine public debate would have been so helpful, airing all manner of impt. issues & community concerns, but alas, not a DE priority.

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    • Assuming the relationship between income, parental involvement, etc. how does this not result in a segregation situation? Not being inflammatory. Just trying to understand the concept.

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    • J: It would result in segregation, I think, in terms of the school for disruptive kids. It is likely that those kids would be disproportionately (though certainly not solely) from impoverished homes, and thus also disproportionately minority (b/c child poverty is highest in our Latino & African American populations). As MRyder points out, there would undoubtedly be backlash against that, perhaps too much to make this kind of idea politically feasible (and I’m only thinking out loud here, this is hardly a fleshed out concept!).

      But the counterargument would be:
      1. across our public schls as a whole, class (and thus race) segregation should decrease with a system like this that aims to keep middle class kids and low-income kids together as much as possible, removing only students (from any socio-economic category) who are very disruptive in the classroom and providing them with an alternate learning environment.

      2. the schl for kids who are recurrently disruptive to regular classrooms would provide more resources, per child, than our ordinary public schls. So in concept, the schl would not be punitive–it would give our highest-needs (often highest-poverty) children the level of close attention, in small classes, that we’re not willing to fund across the board. Most kids function reasonably well in classrooms of 20-some children (larger at higher grades) provided that there aren’t huge behavior issues within their class. But some kids seem pretty clearly to need closer teacher attention, so let’s structure things to give them that, in the interest of all students.

      Remember that at present, we’re segregating kids by providing special schools (charters, magnets) for the most well-supported children. If we’re going to fund separate, parallel public schl systems, I’d say we should at least focus the non-traditional schools on kids with acute needs, who can’t seem to do well in our standard public schls. Most kids at places like NCS and Odyssey would do fine, even quite well, in a TPS as long as their classroom did not have several highly disruptive children who make learning difficult for the rest. It would be sensible, as a matter of public policy (i.e. use of property tax revenue)–and efficient–to address that problem directly and to bring the high-performing kids with engaged parents back into the genuinely public system. Publicly funded schls should be community assets, but this has not been the DOE’s recent approach (in some cases).

      This is just an idea, and the sort of thing I wish our political leaders would toss around as a possibility for providing a genuinely strong public ed. system across the board, one that acknowledges the reality & classroom consequences of very high child poverty in DE. Again, these are the kinds of ideas that genuine, open public debate might generate if DOE did not simply barrel ahead with the ideas of a vocal & influential minority (as it did in the recent case of NCS HS, and others). The democratic process is messy and cumbersome, but it is the most likely to produce outcomes beneficial to a majority of community members.

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  11. Because the law.

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  12. Because that would spoil the special sauce.

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