Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Think Tank Tuesday 11/5: Is Kindergarten Too Soon To Suspend Students?

Check out the following story about students who receive suspensions as early as kindergarten and first grade:

[In a PBS NewsHour Special, John Merrow discusses suspensions within the Success Charter School Network in New York City, which started in 2006 and now consists of 34 schools, most of which are elementary schools. The network employs the “no excuses” model of educating, which means that teachers are held responsible for students doing well in school. The network refuses to accept excuses why a student does not do well—not hunger, sickness, or even violence within the home.

At Success Academy Prospect Heights, students have a list of 65 infractions that they must not commit. These infractions range from serious offenses like bullying and down to something as simple as “failing to be in a ready-for-success position,” whatever that means. Students are also not allowed to get out of their seats unless they have permission, nor can they call out an answer without raising their hand. All of these offenses can quickly lead to suspension.

In 2014, Success Academy Prospect Heights had 203 kindergarteners and first graders, and within that year, Monica Komery, the principal, issued 44 suspensions to only 11 students. Merrow revealed that 12 of those suspensions were given to one child before his family took him out of the school. At another Success school, 32 students accumulated 101 suspensions total. According to Merrow, the charter school’s suspension rate is three times as high as the public schools throughout New York City.]source

Read more here!

What are your thoughts? Effective teaching or punishment overkill? Is kindergarten too early to issue suspensions to students? Does extremely strict behavioral policies prepare children for real life?

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