Monday, December 05, 2005


A way out now that other forms of discipline are severely restricted?

Bad words are costing Hartford Public and Bulkeley high schoolers $103 each. Police officers assigned to the schools have fined about two dozen students for cursing in a new program to curtail unruly behavior. The joint effort by school and police officials targets students who swear while defying teachers and administrators. "We're sending a message to the parents and to the teachers," said Sandy Cruz-Serrano, senior adviser to Superintendent of Schools Robert Henry. "We are trying to bring back order to the schools."

Parents are required to pay the fines if the students cannot. "Our heads are spinning with that," said Sam Saylor, president of the district Parent Teacher Organization. "The kids are really indecent with their swearing and they're swearing at teachers. This is their way of curtailing it -- making the parents pay."

Keila Ayala, 17, a Hartford Public sophomore, said she was ticketed for shouting an expletive in an officer's face while handcuffed for taking a swing at him. "It'll stop me from swearing," she said. "Well, it won't stop me from swearing, but I won't cuss at the teachers."

George Sugai, who teaches school discipline at UConn's Neag School of Education, is skeptical of the effort. "Research says that punishing kids doesn't teach them the right way to act," he said.

But Hartford Police Officer Roger Pearl said the program is working. "Before, the kids were swearing all the time. It went from many incidents to almost nothing," he said. "It's quiet in the halls."



Post lifted from Betsy Newmark

The Wall Street Journal has been very strong in supporting the charter school movement, particularly in New Orleans. Today they have an editorial about how Louisiana is turning towards charter schools to help them after Katrina. Given the horrible record that the New Orleans public school system had before the hurricane it isn't surprising that the state government wants to take authority away from them. Everyone is happy, except, of course, the teachers union. There is this amazing quote from Walter Isaacson, formerly of CNN, who is heading up a group to raise money for New Orleans and rounding up sponsors for new New Orleans charter schools,
"We discussed whether we could do this with the unions," said Mr. Isaacson, "and it was decided that it was very hard to have the workplace flexibility you need. Charters don't have the same union rules, and that's the biggest thing they have going for them."
Exactly. What makes charter schools successful is that flexibility and teacher unions are anathema to that sort of nimbleness in adjusting to new situations. I've taught in regular public schools and now teach at a charter high school. It is so clear how wonderfully flexible a charter school is. When before a decision in the regular public school would take several months as it got kicked up through various layers of bureaucracy, can now get decided instantly by sending an email to the principal. Bravo to Isaacson for recognizing this and how it works.

Will universal pre-school give all kids a head start? "This is the great danger: the presumption that government can raise children better than parents. If universal preschool is voluntary, then it may merely create another massive and ultra-expensive bureaucracy that accomplishes little. If it is compulsory, then universal preschool will extend the government's usurpation of parenthood so that all 3- and 4-year-olds are under state supervision."


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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