The latest feature on the Pinellas County Schools neglect of low-income minority schools lets the children tell their stories. Anyone who thinks that these children do not know better and can not do better should listen carefully to what these children say. Promises for help from the district were not kept. Teachers gave up.
What will be done to fix a problem the district helped create. Charters are not to blame; they are nowhere near.
A local minister says that magnet and other choice programs cherry pick students and leave the behavioral problems to the public schools. Pulling out a limited number of students from a troubled school makes the problems worse for those who remain. District Board members say that money is not really the problem causing these schools –they do not say what is the problem.
Finding ways to control unruly behavior without dumping children on the street is one of the biggest challenges at risk schools have. We did a post of the efforts Broward and Dade Counties are making to find school-wide systems to control and improve discipline.
Read the series on Failure Factories in the Tampa Bay Times. The latest one is titled: Failure Factories: in their own words
The post on the Broward and Dade discipline strategies is at: School Within a School. These examples show what can be done to help.
If you learn about other successful efforts to reduce discipline problems without increasing suspension and drop out rates, let us know.