March 7, 2021

"Black children suffer disproportionately from 'zero tolerance' disciplinary policies under which they are suspended and expelled...."

"Black boys are three times as likely to be suspended as White boys.... I’m not proud of my actions. But if White people want to help the push for racial equity in education, they need to own their role in perpetuating racist practices. I was not equipped for my job when I first entered my 10th-12th grade classroom at one of the poorest high schools in Memphis.... My students resented me for being so severe; I learned that they complained about me to their other teachers. Once, my overuse of discipline elicited a revolt: After I’d sent an 11th-grader to the principal’s office for talking over me repeatedly, the rest of the class put their heads face down on their desks, tossed their pencils to the floor and refused to carry on with the lesson in solidarity with their classmate.... A few months into my first year of teaching, Black Lives Matter came to dominate the news cycle.... I wished I had learned my lesson sooner.... Many other White educators have told me similar stories from their classrooms. We unintentionally perpetuated a broken system we had set out to dismantle.... The fate of far too many American children is still in the hands of inexperienced White educators who know no better than to uphold a system that lets people slip through the cracks. 'Zero tolerance' disciplinary policies must be dismantled, and schools must rebuild such policies to be explicitly anti-racist. Meanwhile, for the rest of my life, I’ll dream of the look on my students’ faces right before they were expelled. They all wore the same recognition of deep-set injustice, the dawning realization that their futures were being taken from them before they even had a chance to graduate from high school."

From "I was a well-meaning White teacher. But my harsh discipline harmed Black kids" by Liz Posner (WaPo). 

The most up-voted comment says: "She was not a teacher. A 'Teach for America'-er. Didn't train to be a teacher. Didn't plan to be a teacher. Planned always to be a writer. Decided to swoop in and save the poor underprivileged children. For two whole years. And, uh, write about it. Not using them at all...."

Posner's own webpage supports that factual assertion: "Liz is a lifelong writer, editor and advocate for social justice. She writes frequently about feminism, education, and justice issues for various publications. While working as a high school Spanish instructor with Teach for America in Memphis, Tennessee, she wrote a novel about low-income students and teachers. As a a writer and editor, she is dedicated to amplifying the voices of marginalized people everywhere.... Liz has known she was destined for a writing career since the 5th grade...."

138 comments:

rhhardin said...

So it's not a discipline problem. Black kids are just stupid, if I follow it.

JAORE said...

Sure, zero tolerance is usually a poor choice. Sure, there are measures other than office referrals to deal with problems. I'm glad things seem to be working out for her.

But there is a troubling trend in America to strive for equal outcomes. In the classroom that means balancing the numbers of disciplinary actions by race.

It seems I read about a school system in Florida that went to those extremes to assure there was no systemic racism in discipline.

I'll try to remember how that ended.

chickelit said...

I would be interested in hearing from real teachers and not from this phony activiste.

Krumhorn said...

I guess she needs to understand how, culturally, the melanated learn by speaking over their teachers and acting out in class. Us crackers learn by getting our pasty asses whooped when we misbehave. Different strokes....sounds like the title of a sitcom.

- Krumhorn

John henry said...

Sending kids to public school is parental malpractice and child abuse

John Henry

Lewis Wetzel said...

". . .and schools must rebuild such policies to be explicitly anti-racist."
Actually she is calling for explicitly racist disciplinary policies.

Iman said...

She was a teacher-dilettante...

Lewis Wetzel said...

Posner is a person who looks at a student's skin color and says to herself "Oh, this student is black. I am far more likely to have a discipline problem with her than with the white student sitting in the desk next to her."

Gahrie said...

The writer's basic argument is that Black kids are incapable of behaving in school and we are wrong to expect them to behave. That seems pretty racist to me.

It must also be noted that the vast majority of Black kids go to schools with Black teachers, administered by Black principals and run by Black school boards.

I do agree with zero tolerance policies however. The only purpose of zero tolerance policies is to cover the ass of principals.

Tom T. said...

I'd be shocked if there was a single white student at the poorest high school in Memphis. Indeed, there can't be more a handful system-wide. White families in Memphis uniformly attend private school.

Gahrie said...

Posner is a person who looks at a student's skin color and says to herself "Oh, this student is black. I am far more likely to have a discipline problem with her than with the white student sitting in the desk next to her."

So am I. And we'd both be right. The facts might be unpleasant, but they're still facts.

Gahrie said...

". . .and schools must rebuild such policies to be explicitly anti-racist."
Actually she is calling for explicitly racist disciplinary policies.


Anti-racist simply means pro-Black and anti-White.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Idem Vetus Longe Reliquit Amentia aka same old far left lunacy.

Sebastian said...

"racial equity"

Let's make a new rule, fellow deplorables: whenever you see "equity," call BS.

The point of using equity, of course, is that equality produces inequality: by not judging boys on the color of their skin, you are more likely to generate unequal disciplinary outcomes.

As Glenn Loury has stressed, it's the fundamental dilemma in race relations: what to do if by the equal application of equal rules--in school misbehavior or general crime, in educational or job performance--blacks just don't measure up?

To progs, equity feels like the way out--let's just equalize outcomes! But it isn't. As a very deplorable thinker once said, equalizers never equalize.

Michael K said...

Nobody more dangerous to black children than social justice warriors.

GatorNavy said...

The nuns who had to deal with generations of unruly Irish kids are laughing from heaven at this willfully stupid woman.

Bob Smith said...

One of my late friends was a young lady from one of our many immigrant families. She and he family were and are liberal but not damn fools. She took up teaching, asked for assignment to a “challenging environment”. Second week in one of her fifth graders decided it was time for the Moonwalk on his desk. Chaos erupted. Learning stopped. When she took the young man to the principals office he told her to take him back to class and say nothing. Later that afternoon Mom showed up with a butcher knife to make sure she understood. Our friend quit that day.

Goddess of the Classroom said...

I have never taught in an inner-city school, but I have taught for almost 30 years. I know that students don't rebel against strictness; they rebel against injustice. Sending a student to the principal's office for talking out is ridiculous (there are many other techniques, including humor, that work). Her students reflected back to her her condescension.

Fustigator said...

I have an idea so crazy it might just work. How about regardless of whatever color, or gender...the same misbehavior nets the same punishment (and it doesnt have to be zero tolerance). Not our problem if kids of color violate the rules more often than asians, whites, etc.

The Drill SGT said...

I guess I come from a family of teachers, and have taught twice. Once as a Drill SGT and the other time at West Point. The best teacher I had in HS. Honors English was a no nonsense retired Marine LTC. I can't imagine teaching 16-17 y/o without firm and consistent discipline.

Anything else and the classroom wood be 180 days of the learning level of a substitute teacher.

The minority of those kids who want to learn deserve a learning environment.

racial equity in education

by all means.
- take the cop out of the school
- suspend the same number of asians as blacks
- social promote the kid with the .13 GPA
- kill standardized testing
- use black math

then wonder why the system you created doesn't yet get equity?

Mr Wibble said...

Zero tolerance policies usually result from cowardice and incompetence by those in charge. They've already screwed up and created a culture that permits all sorts of misbehavior and now they're trying to regain control.

Ken B said...

I have mixed feelings.

Zero tolerance really is foolish. That’s how machines teach. The whole point of having humans teach is to tailor responses to individuals. So I sympathize.

I also taught in a poor high school for a year, and had similar discipline problems, 40 years ago. There is a real problem, and it’s not easy to deal with. So I sympathize.

But her critics seem right on the mark. And her “oh, oh, white supremacy” schtick is twaddle.

The Drill SGT said...

GatorNavy said...
The nuns who had to deal with generations of unruly Irish kids are laughing from heaven at this willfully stupid woman.


thread winner!

BothSidesNow said...

When I graduated from college in the late 1970s, I wanted to do something to give back. After numerous interviews, a desperate principal of a Catholic school in the Bronx hired me to teach eighth grade. She hired me in October, after running out of alternatives. I was not Catholic, had no teaching experience, had taken no education courses in college, in short not a good hire. A white kid from Western Massachusetts, teaching a class of city kids, mostly from the Dominican Republic or African-American. I can sort of sympathize for the writer, though it does look as if a large component of the reason why she got into teaching was to advance her career as a writer. Her students would have realized this very quickly. Kids have a lot of time and interest in observing and thinking about the teacher who is standing in front of them for 50 minutes, day in and day out. It is totally not a surprise that she would have trouble dealing with students who came from a different culture. The "speaking over" bit is a tell. Different cultures have different attitudes towards that. It is not even a black versus white thing. New Yorkers are different from Iowans in the way they react when dealing with an interlocutor who interrupts.

I know many of the commenters here are skeptical of the use of "systemic racism." I will say that as a white kid, I did things that my black students perceived as bias or prejudice or just unfairness. Once three black students stayed after class and pointed out that I called on the light-skinned Dominican students more than on the other kids. I was not aware of doing so, but they were right, and I changed. Was that "systemic racism"? I doubt it, but it was unfair, and was rightly perceived by the black students as being unfair.

My takeaway from the excerpt of the NYT story is teaching is not so easy, and having teachers from a different culture or community who are in the classroom in order to achieve something for themselves, rather than to teach the students in from of them, is a recipe for disaster. It is not really a "black students are hard to control" sort of issue. In one of the Little House on the Prairie books, the author describes a new teacher coming to the one room school house, not getting along with the students, and ending up being badly beaten by a group of the older boys after school. I remember in my own school in a small town in Western Mass, an eighth grade English teacher who lost control of the class room. The kids were so cruel she ended up having a nervous breakdown. Not every failure in a class room is a black versus white thing.

farmgirl said...

They need to be told this: https://youtu.be/dJyz6iK8VXE
Same for the chick that thinks she above us all...

JAORE said...

Is equity defined as no one earns a GPA over 0.13?

If so, were are right on track with the current path of public schools.

gspencer said...

It comes down to "black culture" and the refusal by the so-called "black community" and oodles of white leftists to acknowledge that that black culture is completely adverse to the well being and the future prospects of black children.

Ray - SoCal said...

Some guesses...

1. Black kids placed the race card on her.
2. She was an island of discipline in the school
3. Black teachers backstabbed her using students as useful idiots.
4. She did not understand / network with teachers at her school to get their support
5. Other teachers saw her self image as parachuting in to turn around her students as a heroine. And resented her arrogance. She showed / acted lots of liberal elitism.
6. A bit of playing the victim. Which actually makes her a heroine against the unjust system of zero tolerance.

narciso said...

yes they revamped disciplinary protocols along european lines, meaning none, it's all malware designed to disrupt institutions,

cronus titan said...

We are witnessing the collapse of public school support in real time. In my deep blue city, parents were stunned when they saw what was really happening in class, stunned at the refusal to re-open, stunned to learn re-opening meant in-person class a day a week with teachers via Zoom while hall monitors were in the class with students, stunned when the schools (including School Board) made plain they were not interested in parents' concerns if they were from the disfavored identity groups, stunned at the glib way the school and Board expressed their hatred of children from the disfavored group, and on and on. In short, just stunned when they saw how hated they and their children really are.

It was always dismissed as right wing propaganda -- before the pandemic and they saw reality. As of September 2020, our public schools were down 3-5% number of students, depending upon who you believe. The schools refuse to disclose how many students have withdrawn to private or home schooling, and even worse how many just dropped out of school entirely.

Carol said...

A good place for this link. Most teachers are clueless SJW fools but their statements against interest are pretty revealing. Keep in mind that they lost most of their disciplinary authority ages ago.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Teachers/comments/lzosnz/i_am_exhausted/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

Carol said...

They more they bend over backwards to close the achievement gap, the more watered down the education gets. And now parents can take their kids to some charter school, so K-12 admins are frantic to keep butts in seats for the tax $$$.

Yet people say they want more "equity," which means even more watering down.

What a circus. We are so screwed.

Joe Smith said...

Blacks seem to be begging for segregation again, especially on campuses.

I'm fine with that.

Blacks aren't children.

Let them make their own decisions and let then live with the consequences.

Joe Smith said...

"I'd be shocked if there was a single white student at the poorest high school in Memphis. Indeed, there can't be more a handful system-wide. White families in Memphis uniformly attend private school."

Winner.

If there are no white students, there is no way to measure disparity.

RigelDog said...

It's a Catch-22. You can't teach in a classroom where students will not observe basic rules, period. You also can't just expel every student who acts out, because there are so many of them.

The only answer I can think of would be to copy the (AFIK) success of some schools (typically charter) that promote excellence and highly-structured environments.

Or maybe those who act out can just be sent to time-outs or their own schools without also facing being expelled. Without a change in attitude on the part of the kids and their parents, how can we change this dynamic??

Unknown said...

Vouchers dammit.

Joe Smith said...

"Once three black students stayed after class and pointed out that I called on the light-skinned Dominican students more than on the other kids. I was not aware of doing so, but they were right, and I changed."

So you were a racist?

Why did you do that?

If you changed overnight, I don't think you were a racist, there must have been other factors.

Don said...

My wife is a 30yr 1st grade teacher of mostly lower economic and socially disadvantaged ( bad parents) kids . She is very good at classroom management. She sets the rules and enforces the rules with consequences without fail. She is the most successful (educating) and the most loved teacher by students and parents at the school.

Kids respond favorably to structured environments and expectations.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

If this "teacher" expected to walk into a poor, inner-city school and still have time to write a novel in her spare time, then she's no teacher. Teaching takes up almost all of anyone's spare time, even in very good schools.

The discipline problem is real. Some of it is "learning styles," but these again are mostly taught by the kids to one another. If yelling, running around the classroom, and throwing things get results and approbation from your peers, you'll see more of them. These aren't just problems with Black kids, either; I went to a lily-white school system and the same sorts of "acting out" happened there, too, though not as bad. The worst thing must be to be a "studious" kid, of whatever race, trying to stay sane in such an environment.

I ought to add that the same thing (disciplinary problems) is frequently used today to smear schools as unfairly targeting "the disabled." They do not; but the discipline-problem kids are now being defined as "disabled," so if you run the numbers, that's what you'll see.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

on balance, children need more discipline, in this age where instead we coddle them and teach them to be victims.

The Drill SGT said...

The only answer I can think of would be to copy the (AFIK) success of some schools (typically charter) that promote excellence and highly-structured environments.

Or bring back Sister Mary Claire

I lived in the DC area for 3 decades. The Catholic schools there were full of Black Baptist kids whose parents or parent wanted them out of the DC Public schools. It worked. And they have great B-ball teams :)

Quaestor said...

Liz has known she was destined for a writing career since the 5th grade...

And hasn't improved as a writer since the 5th grade.

R C Belaire said...

Following several other comments above : The good Dominican and Loretto Sisters of my youth would be wondering what the hell has happened to "education" over the last 5+ decades. There was no quarter given in the need for firm discipline.

The Gipper Lives said...

This has all been done.

Obama's Hug-a-Thug PROMISE program gave us Trayvon Martin and then Nikolas Cruz. Every single level of government failed those kids at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas from the principal's office to Obama's Dept. of Ed.. Chris Wray was too busy framing Actual to answer his Tips-line.

17 dead kids for this lunacy.

J Oliver said...

I studied under Marva Collins in South Chicago. No talking over her by students. Only difference that I saw from old-fashioned educational expectations and methods was the generous use of group recitations to keep and gave student attention.
Also whatever the discipline line, some students will step over it. Keep it at tucked in shirts level, not at the knifing level.

Quaestor said...

Racism is to blame. White people forced that fine young man to be lazy, indolent, and inattentive. They forced him to be late or absent more often than on-time to class using whips. They chained that blunt he smoked daily to his hands. If he ever tried to turn off the TV and pick up a book, ten KKK men in robes carrying burning a cross battered down the door and then set fire to his calculator.

BothSidesNow said...

Michelle Dulak Thomas at 11:33 notes that a teacher who has time to write a novel is not a teacher. Great point, especially true for a first or second year teacher. After teaching for five years, I went to law school. Not in law school or afterwards did I ever work harder or for longer hours than in my first year teaching. One way to succeed as a teacher is to be prepared each day, and to pile on the work, and to correct the work each day so the kids are always challenged and are always getting feedback. It is a lot of work.

Clyde said...

Expecting all children to behave is not racist. Maybe black parents should teach their children to behave instead of crying “racism!” when their offspring are disciplined for misbehaving.

Quaestor said...

Was that "systemic racism"? I doubt it, but it was unfair, and was rightly perceived by the black students as being unfair.

A teacher who is not the master teaches nothing but chaos.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

So, she did the right thing, and now is writing a mea culpa over it

The vast majority of what's wrong with Democrats and the Left is summed up by this story.

The proper response to their little "strike" over the proper banishment of the class thug would be to hold a pop quiz. One that has a significant effect on their grades nd whether or not they pass the class

John henry said...

Isn't a 1.3 GPA a D+?
Or at least a D. A=4,B=3, C=2 D=1, F=0

If so, promoting a D student is not "social promotion" they passed the year, they earned the promotion.

Or high schools use a different point system?

John Henry

Amadeus 48 said...

She's a writer, not a thinker.

Amadeus 48 said...

You know, the class probably would have been better off if that kid had continued to talk over her. Nothing says "learning" like senseless insubordination. And she had nothing to say anyway, except "I'm sorry you kids are such losers."

I'm sure that somewhere in America, there are public schools where the children a bright, disciplined, and want to learn. They are (a) in very good zip codes or (2) charter and parochial schools where they don't put up with nonsense from the kids.

John henry said...

Actually no, Michelle, most teachers do not spend a lot of time on school stuff outside of the school day.

Most teachers say they spend a lot. But studies where teachers log their off campus teaching show close to none.

Most teachers will occasionally, like once a month or so, spend a couple hours doing something at home. They then conflate this into weekly or daily activity. Not a knock on teachers, it's a human thing. We all do it.

Teachers work about 1600 hours a year. Most full time skilled workers work more than 2000

That's time actually spent at work. Neither includes vacation, holidays and such.

Also doesn't count after hours work of either group.

John Henry

John henry said...

I was not clear few teachers do teaching outside school hours. Though some have side gigs tutoring or teaching at night.

Many of my grad school instructors were full time teachers by day. Most in Dod schools on the navy/army bases.

I should have said Off campus school related work.

John Henry

Eleanor said...

From a real teacher- I taught in a large multi-racial high school (2400 kids). You can't let some of the kids run all over you because then no learning takes place for any of the kids, but you can choose your battles. Kicking kids out of class anytime they use foul language becomes a full-time job, but you don't let it pass. A sense of humor helps a lot. When you have a friendly meeting with a parent and every other word out of her mouth is a word not appropriate for your classroom, you have to realize you aren't going to turn her child into someone whose language is appropriate for a Victorian drawing room overnight. But you make sure yours is 24/7 so the example gets set. You build a classroom where most of the kids want to be actively engaged, and you let them set the tone that disruption won't be tolerated, but active particiption is. You don't get all bent out of shape if someone engages without raising a hand if what he says is appropriate to what's happening in class. You build lessons that don't require 55 minutes of kids sitting quiety in a seat the whole time. You encourage the kids to engage in learning with each other. You become always attuned to recognizing when behavior is going to escalate and act quickly. When you do remove a student from your classroom, you meet with that student before he returns and explain what specific behavior caused you to do it. Let him know you're ready to welcome him back if he's ready to abandon that behavior and mean it- both you and him. Over the years I had multiple kids who were required by the juvenile court to have a teacher who would do weekly reports on school progress. The kids chose me because they thought I would be fair. There were some teachers who thought I was too easy on the kids, but they worked hard for me.

JAORE said...

Isn't a 1.3 GPA a D+?

Yes it is.

BUT

The kid in question had a 0.13 GPA. ZERO point one three.

Three classes passed in four years.

Fernandinande said...

She was not a teacher.

Nothing she wrote had any truthiness.

But, those poor oppressed white boys!

Due solely to the severe anti-white racism and anti-male sexism exhibited by nearly all school teachers of every race and in every school, white boys are over three times more likely to be "sent to the office" or "detained", and almost four times as likely to be "suspended or expelled", as Asian girls.

hstad said...

AA, yep, you fell for all of these 'Fake Reports' about racism and are on the 'everything is racism' bandwagon. The Tsunami of such reports emanating from the Liberal MSM makes 'racism' nonsensical, meaningless, and a divisive force for political benefit. It's not about 'racism' anymore it is a pure hijacking of 'black culture' by everyone looking for more power. Just look at polling of blacks and how they believe that the BLM movement has hijacked their views as a simple fact. With so many people on the racist bandwagon it will eventually self-destruct over time.

Lurker21 said...

"She was not a teacher. A 'Teach for America'-er. Didn't train to be a teacher. Didn't plan to be a teacher. Planned always to be a writer. Decided to swoop in and save the poor underprivileged children. For two whole years. And, uh, write about it. Not using them at all...."

She was a tourist. A lot of what's going on now is just racial tourism. If you live in an overwhelmingly White suburb, you can mouth all the BLM slogans and put the sign in your front yard. A thousand miles away, in cities that were burning day after day, people may have a very different view of things.

Fernandinande said...

Results
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Zero-Tolerance Policy Violations (2001 to 2005)

[Mestizos and Amerindians had the worst behavior, but]

"Overall, however, the data suggest that racial and ethnic differences in the percentages of students who engage in these behaviors* are relatively small."

* = Bring alcohol, fun drugs or a gun to school. Worse behaviors like assault or theft don't seem to be included in "zero tolerance" for the most part, because reasons.

jaydub said...

People here are decrying zero tolerance policies, but those policies were put in place to ensure that no one got sued for "prejudice or racism" when a teacher or principal employed reasoned judgement in the assignment of discipline to different individual cases, i.e., zero tolerance is merely a defensive measure to protect against social justice warriors and social justice lawyers. This is also the reason that a first grade student gets expelled from school for playing with a stick gun. Zero tolerance always equals zero reasoning, but it keeps the shysters at bay. Of all people, the folks on this blog should understand that.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

John henry,

As the wife of a public school teacher, I beg to differ. My husband typically has his eight hours "on the clock," then (before this year, anyway -- OR schools have been seriously COVID-F'd-up) a class after school, then a couple of hours of work at home. As he teaches music, a lot of his grading this year has been of playing tests and assignments e-mailed in through the school system, and these take real time and listening acumen to grade. His assignments include ensemble playing assignments wherein he plays all the parts himself (yep, violin, viola, cello, bass, not MIDI input but played on the actual instruments), and then has it arranged so that each individual student can play along, with his/her own part covered, or without. (How else can you teach orchestra without an actual ensemble?) Grading one of these takes a weekend-plus, as he has -- had, again, before this year -- more than a hundred students, spread across four ensembles.

Naturally everything is different now, b/c COVID. But that increases his workload. Next month he will have students back in class, finally, and then he'll have the fun of learning how to teach in-person students and EDGE students (that's the District's name for online-only instruction, and they plan on keeping it even post-pandemic) simultaneously. Try figuring out how to "lecture" to a classroom, three-quarters of which is viewing you remotely, one-quarter of which is actually in the room with you. Don't neglect either cohort. Oh, and make sure that no one is either bored or overwhelmed, which will be made more difficult by the fact that your ensembles, constructed by ability level, now have to be rearranged by grade level.

This, as I say, is what it is like teaching in a very good public school in a (mostly) well-off neighborhood. Though even here there are many, many kids of divorce, some kids of migrant workers who don't know exactly where they'll be for the next few weeks, &c. And the religious diversity is astonishing: Besides the blithely atheist Bright Young Things, there are Sikhs, there are Russian Old Believers, there are Catholics, there are a lot of LDS, there are Jehovah's Witnesses. It can get hideously complicated.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

JAORE, I would like to know more about that kid with the .13 GPA. The story was that he was claimed to be in the top half of his graduating class. I don't see how (a) he's graduating at all, or (b) such a mistake could have been made. And where TF were his parents (I'm unreasonably assuming two, but almost certainly not, of course)? How does any kid get through four years flunking all but three classes -- that means, obviously, that at least one year he didn't pass ANYTHING -- and get advanced each year? NO school does that.

Skippy Tisdale said...

It turns out Amanda Gorman i now dating Jussie Smollett.

Amanda Gorman, inaugural poet, 'tailed' by security guard on her walk home

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/06/us/amanda-gorman-followed-security-guard-trnd/index.html

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

jaydub,

You're quite right, of course. The idea of "zero tolerance" is to make a rule that you can always point to to justify your actions. It may be dumb -- in fact, it's literally brain-dead, because my cat could do it if he'd only apply himself -- but it insulates the teacher from lawsuits. Anything else, anything involving a smidge of judgment on the teacher's part, is open to criticism and legal action.

So, as in cases recounted in this thread, the principal's reaction is more likely than not to fudge the rules when the results aren't meticulously race-balanced. Which does nothing, apart from pushing the dumbfuckery around a bit more.

Laughing Fox said...

A student was repeatedly talking over the teacher, and she send him to the principal's office. That doesn't some like zero tolerance; it sounds like too much tolerance for the "repeated" problem.

Skippy Tisdale said...

So it's not a discipline problem. Black kids are just stupid, if I follow it.

And it carries over into adulthood. I live in the inner-city. Have for 40 years. Now if the inner-city was their only reference point then I'd have to say sure, what black folk are doing to one another makes sense; it's all they know. But black folk have had access to TV, films and the media in general for generations now. It's not as if examples of the paths to success aren't being held up to them.

N-word is a social disease.

Michael said...

Zero tolerance is the refuge of fools and cowards, to be sure. What is required is judgment. But we have put people in authority in a position where they can be bullied and defamed for exercising any judgment that some people don't like. And what is a teacher supposed to do when a member of her class repeatedly talks over her? Well-founded charges of explicit or implicit racism need to be investigated and resolved, but abolishing standards and discipline is of no benefit to anyone and of greatest harm to those who are struggling to begin with.

n.n said...

Diversity dogma, not limited to racism, breeds adversity. Discover religion, ethics, law, whatever behavioral protocol. Ideally, it will be based on principles that are internally, externally, and mutually consistent.

Marty said...

I come to Althouse for stimulus for my daily two-minute retch. Rarely disappointed. (Not the Prof; the posts about the narcissist wokerati.)

Gunner said...

Who the hell would behave for an advocate of "social justice"?

Yancey Ward said...

The classrooms devolve to the lowest common denominator with no discipline at all, and that is what you will get if you remove the power to dismiss and expell.

Ken B said...

Cronus Titan
I wish you were right. But I bet you are not. Someone will cry “white supremacy “ about something and they will forget and move on

Michael K said...

Blogger The Drill SGT said...
GatorNavy said...
The nuns who had to deal with generations of unruly Irish kids are laughing from heaven at this willfully stupid woman.

thread winner!


My right Temporomandibular joint still pops from being slugged by an Irish Christian brother in high school. Brother Kiley who taught Mechanical Drawing. I deserved it. As I get older it is getting worse and I have pain opening my mouth. I still deserved it.

Skippy Tisdale said...

It comes down to "black culture" and the refusal by the so-called "black community" and oodles of white leftists to acknowledge that that black culture is completely adverse to the well being and the future prospects of black children.

N-word. It isn't working.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD6qtc2_AQA

chuck said...

The worst thing must be to be a "studious" kid

My first day in kindergarten, two groups of kids were having a war throwing toys at each other. I pulled up a chair and sat down with two other kids in the middle, and we sat there while the artillery barrage went back and forth overhead. I don't remember when the teacher showed up :) That was at Los Alamos, which was not exactly inner city in 1950. Maybe it was a sign of the progressive schooling to come and Los Alamos was ahead of the curve.

tommyesq said...

Black children suffer disproportionately from 'zero tolerance' disciplinary policies under which they are suspended and expelled....

Logic suggests that children who suffer from no discipline at home will suffer "disproportionately" when a zero-tolerance policy is suddenly sprung on them at school. According to a report from the Urban Child Institute (ahttp://www.urbanchildinstitute.org/sites/all/files/databooks/TUCI_Databook2006.pdf), Memphis is a majority-Black city (at least in terms of number of children) that suffers from a high rate of teen mothers - about 35% of all black women in Memphis have at least one child when they are between the ages of 15 and 19, 2.4 times the rate of white teens. Given this, and the high rate of absentee fathers, it seems that black children enter Memphis schools already at a significant disadvantage to children as a whole, and maybe the schools' policies are not to blame (or at least not solely to blame).

Skippy Tisdale said...

Eleanor said...

Paragraphs are your friend.

Richard Aubrey said...

Everybody act like Asians. Won't be no problems.

Michael said...

Problem solved with 800k in reparations and an automatic passing grade right through college. Then a great job at an investment bank for those who can read and write and the dept of motor vehicles for the rest. Great solution. People love those 25 year old cut ups screeching and playing on their phones during meetings. Because of a rotten home life.

It is a puzzlement why so many black boys are disciplined out of proportion to white boys. Really a mystery.

Michael said...

I am guessing these kids never had a ruler applied with force to their open palm. A favorite of the Christian Brothers. Second only to having the nerve on the back of your arm pinched hard.

n.n said...

Zero Tolerance is a misnomer and disinformation. Behavioral problems are conceived and birthed at home. Diversity dogma aids and abets its progress.

SGT Ted said...

How do we even know that what she is writing about actually happened? She an activist and they lie whenever they can get away with it.

JK Brown said...

As a writer, I doubt she would be able to comprehend Thomas Sowell

"Social justice is an actual impediment to acquiring human capital"
--Thomas Sowell

Her social justice mission is a direct impediment to her victims developing even the ability she developed from her privileged upbringing, much less finding success through learning to do something of use and valued by others for a good wage.

n.n said...

"Social justice is an actual impediment to acquiring human capital"
--Thomas Sowell


Social justice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Whether religion, its relativistic sibling ethics, or its politically congruent cousin law, principles matter.

Joanne Jacobs said...

"Zero tolerance" was adopted to avoid racism. The idea was that administrators couldn't be trusted to make judgment calls. Instead, everyone who committed the same offense -- bringing a plastic knife in the lunch bag -- would get the same punishment regardless of skin color (or past behavior or intent).

Nearly all new teachers learn classroom management on the job, usually by talking to their experienced colleagues. Some start out too soft, while others are too strict.

I do think it's sad when a few students disrupt the classroom, making it impossible for everyone else to learn. My daughter had an 8th-grade chorus class that was destroyed by a single student, who gained followers as the teacher proved incapable of dealing with her. At the end of the year, the teacher gave awards to every student. My daughter got "most improved." The disruptor got the "keeps me on my toes" award. This became our family joke.

Tina Trent said...

Sheer bullshit. Deal with out of control minority children for one day and you'll be curled up in the corner of the room in a fetal position, weeping. Also terrified of being called racist. Also, black eye. I know many, many people who have walked this road.

None were honest about it. None ever spoke out, not once.

None subjected their own children to these conditions.

None changed their politics.

Tim said...

Bull fucking shit. If the black student wanted freedom to talk, then he can go out on the fucking street and talk all he wants. When in the classroom, if he cannot control himself, then he is violating the right of those who want to learn and cannot because he is spouting his idiocy. If none of the morons in the class want to learn, they why are we wasting taxpayer dollars to try to teach them? I am tired of this crap. Either play by the rules, or go to work at McDonald's, or go join a gang and get shot by a rival gang member. I DO NOT CARE. If you cannot act "white", as if being a civilized human being is a white only characteristic, then go out with the other barbarians. But do not be surprised if you wind up face down in the gutter.

gilbar said...

the Problem, is GRADES! students would NOT be getting a GPA of 0.013 if it weren't for
GRADES!
Arizona State Dean: Grading Writing Based On Quality Is ‘Racist,’ Promotes ‘White Language Supremacy’

bagoh20 said...

"Zero tolerance" is a mistake for everyone. You can't have a just system that ignores context or mitigating facts, but expecting extra tolerance for your kids means expecting less from them and for them. That's ripping your kids off, which is a big problem from parents these days. They are raising assholes, fascists', criminals, and ingrates. All guaranteed to cost them big in the end. They will have a greatly diminished life, community and country. It's deeply selfish. You care more about your pride than your kids'future.

Gahrie said...

How does any kid get through four years flunking all but three classes -- that means, obviously, that at least one year he didn't pass ANYTHING -- and get advanced each year? NO school does that.

Sure they do. I bet most schools do. Mine does.

I will admit that I was shocked by it when I started teaching high school, but everyone took it as a matter of course. In Southern California at least, Your grade level until you become a senior, is based on the number of years you have been enrolled. It is entirely possible to become a senior without passing a single class, and some do. If you have an IEP or 504 Plan, you can stay in school until you are 22, and some do. You just repeat your senior year four times.

When I was in school, if you flunked too many classes, you got held back and repeated that grade level. When I asked about a similar stance in middle school (I had students that never passed a single class in three years of middle school) I was told "We don't want to have kids driving themselves to middle school." Basically, if they retained kids like they should, there would be 18 year old kids on campus with 12 year old kids. I saw parents begging the school to retain their kid, and the school refused.

The truly outrageous thing is that they push these failing kids along while at the same time demanding that every kid be college eligible.

Shouting Thomas said...

None changed their politics.

I know an exception.

A woman friend of mine was a special ed teacher for 20 years, until one of her black male students beat the shit out of her in the classroom.

The school board, of course, blamed her, and called her a racist for pursuing legal action against the school.

Her politics took a 180.

Years later, my friend is still suffering the physical effects of the beating she took.

RichardJohnson said...

"Black boys are three times as likely to be suspended as White boys....

Very few people who have been teachers or substitute teachers will claim that different rates in school suspension have nothing to do with differences in behavior. Consider the difference in murder arrest rates between black and white adolescents. It's a fair guess that males are most of those arrested for murder, so these are, for the most parts, arrest rates for black and male adolescents.


2019: Murder and nonneglient manslaughter, (Arrest rate per 100,000 ages 10-17)
Black 7.8
White 1.6

(The arrest rate for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter was 53.5 in 1993 was for black adolescents, so progress has been made.)



https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/excel/JAR_2019.xls

tommyesq said...

But if White people want to help the push for racial equity in education

I'd push more more education in education. All of us, black or white, would be better off.

Skookum John said...

These "equity" policies are already in place in many school districts. Their main effect is that when a black kid, or gang of black kids, beats the hell out of some shrimpy Asian nerd for no reason, it's the Asian kid who will be suspended for fighting. The black kids are scolded but allowed to stay in school, swaggering and prancing and threatening the terrified Asian kids who remain.

n.n said...

threatening the terrified Asian kids who remain

People of Asia (excluding Russians) are confronting the new old normal, standing up to progressives, and, in particular, their religious ("ethical") rite to selectively, opportunistically prosecute affirmative discrimination, socially justified by their Church/Synagogue/Temple/Mosque/Office/Clinic/Chamber/Colander's diversity dogma.

n.n said...

"But if White people want to help the push for racial equity in education"

People of White.

JAORE said...

READ 'EM AND WEEP...

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/project-baltimore/city-student-passes-3-classes-in-four-years-ranks-near-top-half-of-class-with-013-gpa

Unknown said...

When you remove discipline and have black kids in class, chaos is the result. This harms all the kids. Interestingly, in Catholic and charter schools, discipline is rigorous and the black boys do fine.

Narr said...

Jumping ahead to comment about W/white student numbers in Memphis public schools--which have been Shelby County Schools for a few years now.

Out of about 100k enrolled, only 7% are W/white, the rest 73% B/black, 15% Hispanic. The more affluent suburbs have always had their own small systems (Germantown, Collierville) or have formed them since forced busing in '71, which began the exodus to private schools.

I graduated with a mediocre education from one of the more modern and well-equipped Memphis public high schools, and my son from what is still the flagship and one of the highest rated public schools in the state, but though he had more options and there was a lot more diversity, he didn't do much better than I did. (That's on us.)

OTOH, the public high school my father went to was known for many decades as Hebrew High for the numerous and studious children of the city's Jewish elites; I doubt there are more than a few dozen Jewish kids in Shelby Co Schools now--they have also re-segregated, and so do the new Muslim residents for the most part.

Many graduates of our local public schools have ended up at Normal for over a century now, and I wish I could say there's some overall improvement in quality, but adjusting for other factors it is much worse.

Narr
22% of SCS teachers are W/white, and they must be saints

chuck said...

I will admit that I was shocked by it when I started teaching high school

I was shocked when I taught calculus I in college and discovered when we all sat down to grade the final that passing was a score of 30 out of something like, IIRC, 150. Passing calculus was meaningless.

Lucien said...

I don’t know what the ratio of boys to girls suspended or expelled is, but I bet it conclusively proves disparate impact on boys that can only be explained by systemic sexism.

Narr said...

It only took one day of teacher-assisting at a jr high school to put me off my vague notions of becoming a teacher. It's a good thing I had the experience very early in the program!

Many of my friends subbed back in the day, something I never had to resort to. None of them had good stories, and some of their students, like Raven the 8th-grader who pissed in her seat every day--to the admiration of most of her peers--sound like Satan-spawn. And that was 20 years ago.

Narr
Enjoy the decline and hope you miss the crash

Jamie said...

"Black children suffer disproportionately from 'zero tolerance' disciplinary policies under which they are suspended and expelled...."

I confess that I didn't RTWT, but I'm intrigued by the phrasing. Do black kids "suffer disproportionately," in the author's opinion, in the sense that they suffer more when it happens? Or in the sense that it happens to them more often? Or both? The ambiguity leaves her clear either to empathize with for the kids' suffering, or to denounce society for causing it unjustly.

I'm pretty much in agreement about getting rid of zero-tolerance policies, wherever they occur, because (as so many others here have said already) their purpose seems to be administrative CYA rather than actual maintenance of discipline. But her reasoning - that they're "racist" - I find as specious as most other claims of "racism." It seems that these troubled school need more courageous administrators (is that an oxymoron?), teachers with both passion and good sense, and of course the Great Force Multiplier, responsible parental involvement. Which is why Catholic schools do so much better with the same demographic breakdown: from my mom's experience in a Catholic school in Murder Capital East St. Louis, 98% black and probably no more than 30% Catholic, those parents moved heaven and earth to get their kids into a school that wasn't something between an armed camp and the Apocalypse. And the kids did great, achieved their best up to 8th grade, went on to Catholic high schools whenever possible so as to avoid the even worse prospect of public high school in that benighted city.

Bunkypotatohead said...

We're gonna have to ban "To Sir, With Love" next.
Sidney Poitier was acting too white in that one, also.

Markoni said...

from her web page:
"wrote an award-winning philosophy thesis on beauty and metaphysics."
There you go, trump card.

gilbar said...

serious question (for those of you with children (or grandchildren))
WHY would you (do you?) send your kids to a public school?

The Crack Emcee said...

"We unintentionally perpetuated a broken system we had set out to dismantle."

Yep. And they're STILL tying to blame blacks for it.

It' a sickness.

Jamie said...

In my 6th grade class in an inner-city school in Norfolk, VA, my teacher spent the first day laying out expectations for our comportment - including the fact that if "we" (she used "we," not "you") smelled bad, "we" would be asked to go to the restroom and wash "our" armpits. I was mortified. I have no idea how the rest of the kids felt - I was only in that school for a semester and didn't get to know them well.

Another teacher, my younger sister's, had a diabolically creative suite of punishments for bad behavior, including "Flying Eagle," in which you held a dictionary on each hand at arm's length for way longer than you could, and - what was the name? I can't remember - in which you "sat" on an invisible chair, back against the wall with no other support, for way longer than you could.

My teacher was a tiny Greek-American woman, Ms. Kouzi. She had no discipline problems. My sister's teacher, name I can't recall, was an older black woman. She also had no discipline problems. Two different approaches - united in that neither woman brooked dispute of her authority. It was, of course, long ago on a galaxy far, far away. I doubt either of them could use her own method today.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

School wise, this is the logical, and predicted- see the dissent- of Tinker v Des Moines.
Culture wise, this is the logical outcome of Griggs v Duke Power.
The Supreme Court is killing America. Government by lawyers is a recipe for disaster.

bagoh20 said...

Where are our resident lefties defending the embarrassing education system they have designed, implemented and forced on our children? Surely there must be some way to twist the facts to make it all the fault of QAnon or Hawaiian shirts.

ken in tx said...

One advantage to the Zero Tolerance policy, for school administrators, is that the 'Goldilocks-with-a-butter-knife' community will not raise hell and set fire to his/her Lexus. Unlike the other community.

bagoh20 said...

Crack, if Blacks joined conservative Whites in large numbers demanding good schools, they would get them. Most do not. Large numbers of Whites fail to demand that too, but that's because they fall for the same lies about conservatives being racist for believing Black are capable of performing as they once did when they were expected to. Many Blacks, the likes of Maxine Waters, give these racist leftist Whites cover to do that.

The problem at issue in this discussion is true: Blacks do pay a higher price for that biracial juggernaut in education, but it's prejudice among both groups who seem to agree that Blacks are inferior. Why are Blacks in line with that racism of the left? Is hatred of imaginary "good ole boys" worth sacrificing Black futures and potential?

bagoh20 said...

The solution for Blacks is not complicated. Imagine Blacks ran an all Black school system with no Whites involved, and wanted the students to excel and be the best. What would be the policies in that system? I doubt there would be much tolerance for misbehavior, disrespect or sloth, and I'm sure those Black kids would kick ass academically, because that's what would be demanded by the grown ups who care about them. It just takes true love of children and what they can become. That won't be coming from some bureaucratic state operators, Black or White.

doctrev said...

A lot of ideas, solutions, prescriptions. None of them have worked beyond the local setting. None will work, especially in this environment. Whites and blacks realize now how dysfunctional the school system and its shiftless, stupid, self-regarding teachers are. Anyone with talent and determination, regardless of race, has long since fled the public schools.

What will the consequence be? Everyone is going to find out. Some sooner than others.

The Godfather said...

Most of the people reading and commenting here are old enough to know from experience actual Black adults who are well-educated and well-behaved. I certainly do. So, contrary to Liz Posner, we know that the problem with the misbehaving children isn't that they're Black, it's that they're misbehaving. If you assume that misbehavior is because of race, then you are a racist. Another word for racist that makes some Left racists feel better, is "anti-racist", but it's still racist.

Skookum John said...

what was the name? I can't remember - in which you "sat" on an invisible chair, back against the wall with no other support, for way longer than you could.

The "Green Chair".

Mark Jones said...

"Zero Tolerance" policies exist for one reason, and one reason only: to protect public officials of every kind from having to make a decision. After all, just because you're paid (and paid goddamn well) to an administrator, that doesn't mean you should actually, you know, make decisions.

You might be wrong. Worse, you might be ACCUSED of being wrong, of being incorrect. Worst of all, you might be accused of being POLITICALLY incorrect.

"Zero Tolerance" is a godsend for such weak-minded fools. No individual initiative or intelligence is needed. Individual decision-making (and the attendant risk of being wrong) is neither necessary NOR ALLOWED. And no matter how stupid, counterproductive, unjust or destructive the result may be, you're golden because your hands are tied. The rules are self-enforcing (in fact, of course, they're not--but that's the pretense) and you have no culpability for the consequences, no matter what they may be.

OF COURSE zero tolerance rules result in appalling results for those affected by them. But the rules aren't created for THEIR benefit.

RichardJohnson said...

John henry
Actually no, Michelle, most teachers do not spend a lot of time on school stuff outside of the school day.
Most teachers say they spend a lot. But studies where teachers log their off campus teaching show close to none.
....I should have said Off campus school related work.


Links to studies? My 2 years as a school teacher say 60 hours a week. Such as having a textbook that ramps up problem set difficulties much too fast for the capabilities of my students. Lesson plans to write accordingly. Parents to call.

I suggest that you get into a primary or secondary classroom and find out for yourself.

The Drill SGT said...

Unknown said...
When you remove discipline and have black kids in class, chaos is the result. This harms all the kids. Interestingly, in Catholic and charter schools, discipline is rigorous and the black boys do fine.


To be fair, the black parents who move mountains to get their kid into a charter or Catholic school both monitor student performance and very likely provide a more disciplined home.

Hercules, not that one though said...

We've had this K-12 system in place for a long time. A lot of kids don't fit. A lot of commenters talk about punishing kids if they don't fit. It's always been this way. Kids used to be paddled if they didn't fit. Now we have to have 'Resource Officers'.

I dropped out of high school. I didn't fit. It was boring. Joined the Army. I loved the physics of weapons...not realizing at the time that it was physics. Became an Arms Instructor.

22 men to a class. Black/White/Puerto Rican/Mexican/Jew/Californian. They all were attentive. No women. No sensitivity trainings. No discipline problems. It was a subject we were interested in. Moving parts. A physical thing you could hold in your hands and manipulate. Practicing at the range. Learning a skill.

Learning a skill.

HVAC. Plumbing. Electrical. Carpentry. Oilfield Rando. Deep sea Fisher. Logger. et.al. It's all physics and geometry. Some Algebra. Learned in the way men learn. Hands on.

Public School goes on for way too long. K-8 would be more than enough if we taught our children History, English, Math, Civics, Literature, Art, and then launch them.
Some would go on to Higher Education. Need Architects.

We don't have Higher Education anymore. We have lowered bar mush.





The Drill SGT said...

bagoh20 said...
The solution for Blacks is not complicated. Imagine Blacks ran an all Black school system with no Whites involved, and wanted the students to excel and be the best. What would be the policies in that system?


Morehouse College

as for your idea, not likely with most black teachers and administrators, IMHO. They are part of the evil racist system.

Get yourself some Black Baptist Minister for your Superintendent

The Drill SGT said...

The Godfather said...
Most of the people reading and commenting here are old enough to know from experience actual Black adults who are well-educated and well-behaved. I certainly do. So, contrary to Liz Posner, we know that the problem with the misbehaving children isn't that they're Black, it's that they're misbehaving. If you assume that misbehavior is because of race, then you are a racist. Another word for racist that makes some Left racists feel better, is "anti-racist", but it's still racist.


There are two problems
- a leftist teacher training system that breeds leftist SJW teachers
- A dysfunctional Black family and gangsta culture. Its not the kids genes, it's his environment and peer pressure that make him hard to reach and teach.

The 50's segregated schools, though under resourced, turned out much better products than magnificently funds inner city schools. Blame LBJ for starting the path of destruction...

Nicholas said...

Am I the only one tired of the disproportionate overuse of "disproportionate"? It's just a weasel word for "realities the Left can't explain away".

Tina Trent said...

Michelle, I have zero doubt your husband is a dedicated teacher. But I know many more of the lazy and self-righteous kind. He also probably isn’t teaching in downtown Atlanta or New Orleans or the bad areas of Tampa and St. Petersburg, where leftist school boards and principals inculcate anti-white and anti-discipline resentment among their charges. I watched one leftist friend after another try to apply their “beliefs” in those public classrooms — they all either left teaching or crept off to pricey private schools. I not only worked in several programs in out-of-control schools, but I also knew at least a dozen leftists enter and leave those classrooms overnight. Only the one conservative teacher I know is still there, 20 years on and enduring relentless hostility from school authorities for her politics. One leftist friend had to beg a vice principal to come take threatening males and females twice her size out of the room as they shouted racial slurs, physically fought each other, and called her a cunt. Funny how we can use that word, isn’t it? Yet she refused to absorb the reality her sheltered politics and lifestyle had allowed her to avoid and refused to ever discuss it after the day she arrived home shaken and in tears and never went back. I knew another woman with elite degrees and leftist politics in SE Atlanta who loved it when her students used anti-white slurs in her third-grade classroom. She delightedly told me she found the words “white bitch” written on her blackboard and she pretended to cry “I didn’t know I was a white.” That attitude is encouraged by the virtually all-black administrators, who make very big bucks and mostly do nothing. The schools draw naive masochists who delight in encouraging their already-deprived charges to exercise more anti-white behavior against them. It’s sick. I didn’t tolerate it and was treated with respect, but I was only in attendance occasionally as a tutor or for special events such as lock-downs (where they lock-in and babysit the kids with free pizza and movies and swag all weekend so they can inflate their attendance stats to get more DOE funding for chairs that remain empty the rest of the year). Another teacher I know was punched in the face more than once and blamed himself. Zero tolerance” is a fiction. It usually means being moved to a special school after three reported violent incidents. And teachers are extremely vigorously discouraged from reporting anything, so a kid can have a dozen causes for expulsion before even being called out of the classroom. Yet most of these children are really desperate for order and predictability in their lives, and most are terrorized by the thugs the school administrators and activists refuse to remove.

Some of this changed around the 2000’s but it’s getting far worse again, fast.

mtrobertslaw said...

After WW II ended, many ex-Marines went into teaching, mostly in public high schools. Funny, they never had any discipline problems.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The Drill SGT,

To be fair, the black parents who move mountains to get their kid into a charter or Catholic school both monitor student performance and very likely provide a more disciplined home.

But there are ways of testing this. Most charters have lotteries, which means that generally most of the students whose parents "move mountains" don't get in anyway. These students form a control group whose results can be compared to those of the students who do get into the charters. My understanding is that there's a significant gap between the two groups, so it's not all parental involvement.

Not sure whether Catholic schools also run admission by lottery, but it wouldn't surprise me. The ones I've seen do enforce serious discipline on their kids. I remember popping into St. Joseph the Worker (I think) in Berkeley for RCIA and seeing a crowd of Black kindergarteners, all in uniform, all orderly (well, a little shuffly), waiting to get into class.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Tina Trent,

I have zero doubt your husband is a dedicated teacher. But I know many more of the lazy and self-righteous kind. He also probably isn’t teaching in downtown Atlanta or New Orleans or the bad areas of Tampa and St. Petersburg, where leftist school boards and principals inculcate anti-white and anti-discipline resentment among their charges.

Well, no; I explained that. He teaches in a fairly wealthy part of Salem, OR. But NB: He came from a very wealthy, private school (Dominican, then all-girls but since coed) in CA, so he has experience with that, too.

Up here, it's selected parents who heckle the school board, not the other way around. The big campaign this year was to do away with SROs (school resource officers = cops). At the school board meetings, the "public comment" was endless: One nice white lady after another politely asked to speak, then immediately launched into a prepared screed lasting exactly three minutes (the allotted time). It went on for a couple of hours. Much said about the "school-to-prison pipeline," mostly hypothetical b/c Salem, despite a school dress code endlessly focused on banning gang colors and insignia, is roughly 1.5% Black.

Anyway, my point in writing in was just to point out that some teachers do take their work very seriously, and put far more time into it than their "on the clock" hours suggest. Are there teachers who stick around until the bell rings and then compete to see who can make it out of the parking lot fastest? Sure there are, and I'd wager the same is true of most work. But that's why teaching isn't most work; to do it well, you need to do a thousand things beyond what's specified. And if that does include racking up "professional development" or "lifelong learning" points (grrrr) or viewing everything through an "equity lens," which was the big buzzword this year (double grrrr), so be it.

Incidentally, my husband has his first in-person instruction (outside private lessons) in a year this afternoon. After school, small orchestra, 13 kids, no bass for this one (alas). The levels of the kids are pretty different, so it may be a bit of a mess. We'll see. He's very excited. This is one of three, each one day a week, different days.

Narr said...

Couple of things here. After WWII, of course a lot of ex-Marines became teachers, and so did a lot of other veterans. Irregardless, they faced a much different generation of youngsters than do teachers today.

Some of our best friends became teachers--one couple in particular who fled first from the Memphis public schools, then from the small rural county where he had become a principal, to a very nice DoD school-teaching post in Germany, after which he retired, full of honors and widely admired. (He had been a special ed teacher, and a successful girl's basketball coach too. Ed.D. if you haven't figured it out yet.)

When we used to visit them out in the sticks before they went to Germany, we could see that they had piles of piles and miles of files for the work that they did at home--sometimes while we ate breakfast on a weekend morning. The pay was risible, the students mostly uninterested, the prospects dim, and they had a son who deserved better than Roosterpoop, TN.

So he snatched at the chance to be a public school teacher at a base school where most of the students were the kids of HQ personnel. It was much better! And his wife, the ex-Marine and also a school-teacher, got a good gig too.

I am in awe of MDT's (and any dedicated teacher's) commitment and energy. I was almost hired to teach history at one of the top old (pre busing, non-denom) private prep schools here, but with all the extras expected (attending their games, coaching something if necessary, being part of the family) I'm glad the lady with the teaching experience got the job.

Narr
At least at the U I wasn't just a rich-kids' tutor



PM said...

In a nutshell: hardworking black student is accused by blacks of being "Asianized".

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/When-is-an-African-American-student-not-Black-15815315.php

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

PM,

Uh, can you summarize/quote? I have a Chron subscription, or rather my husband does, but mine died after the power outage a few weeks ago, and now I can't get into it. We get his teacher discount, so it's run off one of his three email accounts, and then with one of five passwords . . .

RichardJohnson said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...
PM,Uh, can you summarize/quote? I have a Chron subscription, or rather my husband does, but mine died after the power outage a few weeks ago, and now I can't get into it.

You can go to outline.com to try to bypass paywalls. It doesn't always work, but it did work for this SF Chronicle article. I pasted in the Chronicle article's URL, and struck paydirt- or shall wee say freedirt? (I'm so old I recall reading Charles McCabe in the Chronicle! A guy I worked with wrote a letter to McCabe, asking McCabe's opinion on a book review he had written, and McCabe was gracious enough to reply and to also compliment the book review. When did the Chronicle stop the green pages?)

outline.com: When is an African American student not Black?

PM said...

1. Thanks, Richard. A piece worth reading.
2. You mean the Sporting Green? Seems to me that ended maybe 20 years ago.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Richard,

Thanks as well! A very good piece. I had never heard "Asianized" before, but the meaning is pretty obvious. No kid ought to suffer taunting because she's doing the work well!

PM, I don't know about the Sporting Green, b/c we left the Bay Area a decade ago, but it might be gone. It was there a decade ago, though, when we still got the physical paper. I am reasonably sure that the Pink Section remains pink. But when these things are online, you can't necessarily see the pigmentation :-)

PM said...

Live here. Pink Section still pink. Editorial staff pinker.

RichardJohnson said...

Michelle Dulak Thompson
No kid ought to suffer taunting because she's doing the work well!

Maybe not, but it happens, and not just with blacks. Richard Rodriguez, in Hunger of Memory, his autobiographical work, wrote of how after he became an attentive student, he got some flack from his peers for that. I was the best student in a rural elementary school- not just my class but the entire 8 grades of the school. I got some flack for that, though I also got some respect- good times and bad times. I got more flack for that for schoolmates outside my grade than I did from my classmates.

Then when I attended the regional high school, where the host town was much more educated and much more upper middle class than my home town, I occasionally got the "dumb farmer" sneer -applied to residents of my hometown- thrown at me. The "dumb farmer" sneer wasn't uttered all the time, as I wasn't the only resident of my hometown who got elected to the student council. But the sneer was there. Good times and bad times.

Anywhere you are, people will form in-groups and out-groups. Our kind, versus not our kind. Achieving students versus non-achieving students. Black versus white. Farmers versus professionals.

James said...

Zero Tolerance Policies are a joke. They send the wrong message and teach the wrong lessons to children.

This article is not being 100% honest. It is trying to make this about race when it is more about a subculture teaching an glorifying many negative aspects of human behavior. And a lazy, irresponsible way for administrators to make claims they are "doing something". Even though that "something" is completely counter-productive.

The zero tolerance policies as well as trying to manipulate everything to be about race is simply disgusting.