09.01.2014  |   | Subscribe  | Contact us

All News & Blogs

E-mail Alerts

Don't let the unruly ruin education for all
James Andrews' op-ed column on disruptive students in classrooms.

 -
THINKSTOCK.COM
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 2/10/2013

AS MARK Twain was fond of quoting, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Averages of two simple numbers from many different schools and different types of districts illustrate this in spades.

It might be sensible to rail against the policies of one school or one administrator, but to lump together dozens of schools and tens of thousands of students shows that the writer is in need of a class in elementary statistics ["Keep your students in class, Spotsy," Feb. 3].

It's always interesting when folks who have no idea of the dynamics of learning in a classroom make clueless blanket statements.

While it is true that there are many ways that administrators try to handle the problems of unruly students, they all represent a frantic search for a way to protect the students in the classroom who really want to learn.

Instead of a blanket "make sure that all students are always in the classroom," parents who really care about their students' education would want the administrators to protect their children from students who damage their children's education far more than the less-likely dangers from violent students in area schools.

First, despite the merging of ISS (in-school suspension) and OSS (out of school) for purposes of unrealistic suggestions, ISS is in-school, and kids are often doing the work that they wouldn't do in the classroom or at home--why they are in ISS in the first place.

The comments about the dangers of ISS don't pass "the smell test," either. The rooms are rarely "filled," as mainly disruptive students are there. And the "dry, rote work" is likely to be the same type of work that the student wasn't able to do in class without disrupting other students.

The writer doesn't seem to realize that "instruction" includes reading, understanding, and writing, which is most characteristic of ISS work. Success in any endeavor in the real world involves practice, practice, and more practice of "dry rote work" until mastery is achieved.

Could mastery of football, basketball, field hockey, auto mechanics, or musical instruments be done without hundreds of hours of practice that might not be as "engaging" as proponents of educational mediocrity propose?

TEACHING SELF-DISCIPLINE


1  2  3  Next Page