Madison school suspensions are up despite all that restorative stuff

Suspensions up one-quarter
Attention, disciplinarians: expect more ‘leadership coaching’

The Madison school board meets tonight (03-05-18) at 6 p.m. to tinker with its Behavior Education plan. Your scholarly Squire will be truant. Like that Broadway diva Lynn Fontanne, he can be bought but he cannot be bored.

Discipline hard

A future leader is forged by a teacher unencumbered by Madison’s Behavior Education Plan

Tonight’s session is a scheduled retuning rather than an overhaul in response to Parkland, Florida, or the recent rumbles in the four public high schools (although the district is certainly mindful of them).

But process must be served! Madison’s public schools are committed to an 81-page Behavior Education Plan that makes the federal tax code a Dick and Jane primer by comparison.

The BEP is a triumph of School of Education bureaucracy. Crammed with procedures, steps, student rights, strategies, flow charts, tables, appendices, behavior and risk assessments, resources, restorative collaboration, problem solving circles, regulation breaks, and glossaries. (See Glossary of Terms for the definition of “sexual conduct,” “sexual contact,” and “non-consensual.”)

Tons of process for an ounce of product

It divides student discipline into five “response levels” into which it attempts to pigeonhole a taxonomy of student misconduct. The following is merely an excerpt:

Response Level 1 is used when behaviors are supported within the classroom by staff assigned to that classroom. Response Level 2 is used when the school-wide behavior response system is involved in supporting the student. Support requires an additional staff member and might be provided in the classroom, outside the classroom, or in another environment. The decision by classroom staff to engage the school-wide behavior response system to address a behavior assigned to Response Levels 1 and 2 shall be final when documenting the Behavior Response Level.

If the behavior is assigned two or more Response Levels, the lowest level is used first except for level 1 and 2. A behavior assigned response levels 1 and 2 does not need to be responded to at level 1 prior to being responded to at level 2 …”

It goes on like that for pages! Teachers say they just want to teach! But they can’t teach until they have mastered Behavior Education Plan, advanced level. Indeed, tonight’s tune-up proposes more teacher training for the 10% of teachers who report 41% of all misbehaviors, “thus highlighting a need to engage in leadership coaching to ensure targeted supports to those environments.”

Policy Werkes Translation: Get with the Program, Problem Disciplinarians!

More students are being suspended!

[UPDATE: this section has been corrected to reflect suspensions instead of the originally stated expulsions.] Student suspensions in the Madison public high schools have actually increased, to our surprise. In the first semester of the current school year, 325 high school students were suspended compared to 275 in first semester 2017-17 (and 272 in 2015-16).

Remarkably, more middle schoolers are being suspended — 327, up from 286 last year and 291 the year before. And middle school has but three grades!

Sadly, 62% of suspensions are “black or African American” although accounting for 19% of the districtwide enrollment. White students comprised 42% of all students but 13% of suspensions. “The trend in disproportionality in incident events has remained steady when looking at race/ethnicity,” the first semester review summarizes.

[UPDATED: The report also looked at “behavior events” across the five response levels of the Behavior Education Plan. Madison schools recorded an astounding 35,386 incidents involving 5,315 students in the first semester, up from 31,056 incidents last year involving 4,789 students. Suspensions (including the same student) across the district totaled 1,122 suspensions compared to 892 last year.]

“Encouragingly,” the school district’s behavior specialists report the proportion of suspensions of African American students to other ethnic groups has declined — by one percent (1%). The adverb “encouragingly” is telling. For Madison Metro Schools continue to fixate on race as much as on behavior.

Behavior Education Plan




About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in identity politics, Madison schools and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Madison school suspensions are up despite all that restorative stuff

  1. Tom Paine says:

    Who can argue with the wisdom of BEP? Perfection is within our grasp. All we need now is to use the BEP as systemic model for the operation of chain saws, trains, motor vehicles, ovens, nursing, open-heart surgery, airplane maintenance, and food inspectors. Oh, and of course, not to be forgotten, life guards, gymnastics coaches, and electricians. We must replace the archaic relationship of “actions produce immediate consequences,” with a BEP. Just consider the virtue of the application of BEP to the logging industry.

    And to think, some have suggested society is not progressing. The light at the end of the tunnel has never been brighter. Pure brilliance.


  2. madisonexpat says:

    What if a kid just wants to be expelled?


  3. madisonexpat says:

    Any mention of parents?


  4. jeffsimpson7 says:

    I admire how you continue to be a parody of yourself but never let that stop you,

    Teachers say they just want to teach! But they can’t teach until they have mastered Behavior Education Plan, advanced level

    First thing is how many teachers have told you that??? Secondly since when did you care what the lazy, overpaid takers had to say? Was it when treating minorities with respect and equity came into play?

    On a side note, I love when hard core righties have the fantasy that Tom Paine would be on their side.


    • @jeffsimpson7;

      Your suffocating White Lefty Guilt is red-lining and needs to be restored to an acceptable level.

      I suggest you park your BIKIE, remove your Hempen Homespun #BlackLivesMatter T-shirt, and refrain from feverish hand-wringing and deep brow-furrowing.

      If you continue to experience White Lefty Guilt lasting more than four hours, consult a physician immediately!

      The Gotch


    • David Blaska says:

      Jeff is a school board member at Monona Grove district, so pray for them. Jeff asks: How many teachers have said all they want to do is teach? The Squire answers: Every one quoted by the mainstream press on whether they would be willing to defend their students from a school shooter.


    • Tom Paine says:

      Yo, Jeff.

      Got an issue with my views? Articulate the question or beef clearly.

      RE: treatment of student disruptions………… Equality before the law. Do the crime; accept the penalty. Very simple — both for you and students. In the real world, there are no “do-overs” or ‘restorative justice’ for the penalty of passing on Double Yellow. In the real world, reality can bite back. Don’t understand electricity. Zap, you a memory. Can’t administer a prescription accurately? Dead patient. What chu not understand?

      Oh, and my ticket to the debate — 3 decades in classroom. DPI licenses, Super and Principal. 120 Grad credits in Ed Admin with 4.0. And you?



  5. Too bad Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS didn’t have a BEP in place.

    ”Obama policies to end ‘schoolhouse-to-jailhouse pipeline’ helped keep Nikolas Cruz off police radar”

    ”Confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz was a disciplinary nightmare for schools before he opened fire in Parkland, Florida — yet there was nothing on his record to stop him from buying a firearm or alarm the FBI after the agency received a tip.

    ”Why not?

    ”The demand for an answer to that question has focused attention on Broward County Public Schools policies embraced by the Obama administration that were designed to help RULE-BREAKING STUDENTS AVOID PERMANENT BLOTS on their records by reducing referrals to law enforcement.” (bolds/caps mine)

    There are now ”permanent blots” on 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas HSer’s records.

    The Gotch


    • jeffsimpson7 says:

      im not sure if you are aware, but they did exactly what you wanted and expelled Cruz….maybe your policies and ideas dont work so well in the real world


      • madisonexpat says:

        You are a school board member. How would you know?


      • Batman Lives says:

        Hey Gotch; notice how jeffieboy conveniently ignored the main thrust of your post.
        There are people that want something to be true so badly, that myopia becomes their primary condition.
        Dude; wake up! It’s your destructive Obama era policies that do not work in the real world.
        Let go of the white guilt that obscures your common sense.
        And that’s a wrap!


      • @Batman Lives;

        ”notice how jeffieboy conveniently ignored the main thrust of your post.”

        He’s a School Board member, you expected otherwise?


        “im (sic) not sure if you are aware,”

        You’re not alone thinking that…

        ”but they did exactly what you wanted and expelled Cruz….”

        That’s what I wanted? Who knew?

        “maybe your policies and ideas dont (sic) work so well in the real world”

        My policies and my ideas?

        (bolds/caps mine throughout)
        “But the approach also helped keep Cruz off the law-enforcement radar, despite school-based offenses that reportedly included assault, threats and BRINGING BULLETS TO SCHOOL IN HIS BACKPACK.”

        It gets worse.

        “ ‘Mr. Cruz is a perfect example of someone just falling through the cracks that we create through (The Gotch’s) bad policy,’ Jeff Bell, a deputy sheriff and president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Association,”

        And worse still.

        My policies and my ideas forced the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to ignore at least 45 concerned calls they received regarding Cruz. Not only that, but my policies and my ideas led Sheriff Israel to claim there were only 23 such calls made; you do the math.

        ”(An) agreement (the Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline), developed with partners including the NAACP, the Broward County sheriff and Broward state attorney, included a diversionary program for repeat offenders called PROMISE and listed 14 misdemeanors no longer subject to school-based arrest.

        Officer Bell: “They were basically paying us not to make arrests,”

        When yer up to yer @$$ in alligators, it’s hard to recall you only wanted to drain the swamp.

        In the Bizarro World of public education administration, my policies and my ideas would likely get me a glowing performance review and promotion, am I right?

        The Gotch


      • jeffsimpson7 says:

        I love when you guys smell blood in the water and think you are sharks but the reality is you are just the chub.

        But I will answer your questions….first TP: You can have any wrongheaded, unresearched opinion you want. My problem comes in that you are sullying Thomas Paine’s great name with your bullshit.

        Batty: yes I blame the Black guy, i will just overlook the fact that Congress is controlled by far right loons and WI for the past 8 years has been run by guys who make the Congress look moderate. I am not sure about the main thrust of Blaskas point except that Madison is too liberal because we have not put all kids of color in jail yet.

        The Gootch: I was going to answer you but then i realized you are just Blaska commenting under a different name and realized what is the point with trying to deal with someone with multiple personalities.


      • David Blaska says:

        We have a winner in the Clueless Competition. It is Jeff Simpson for “I am not sure about the main thrust of Blaskas point except that Madison is too liberal because we have not put all kids of color in jail yet.” Why would I want to put all the kids of color in jail? I want them to succeed! To prosper! To excel! That is why I supported Kaleem Caire’s proposed charter school — because it emphasized DISCIPLINE! That is Lesson #1. Without Discipline you cannot learn anything useful. Not a skill, not a competency, not a trade, not a profession. But we know why Jeff Simpson and his allies fought the Urban League’s proposed Madison Prep H.S. Because it would have been non-union! That’s all that matters to our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances: the nice, rich union bennies.


      • jeffsimpson7 says:

        * Why would I want to put all the kids of color in jail? – Good question, I wish I knew why you do. I have my suspicions but only you can really answer that.

        * “rich union bennies” that makes me laugh especiallycoming from you who is living off those bennies.

        * I opposed Madison Prep because it was a horrible idea, which would have drained needed resources and been run by people with no education experience. But those are silly details i guess that do not fit in your world view.


      • David Blaska says:

        Kaleem Caire has no education experience? Have you Googled him? Drained resources? Did the opening of Madison Memorial High School “drain resources” from Madison West? Madison Prep would have funneled resources to the cohort of the student population most in need of them!


      • @jeffsimpson7;

        “The Gootch: I was going to answer you but then i realized you are just Blaska commenting under a different name and realized what is the point with trying to deal with someone with multiple personalities.”

        First off; though I’m flattered beyond words, there’s no need to saddle the Humble Squire with an undeserved affiliation to The Gotch. I’m certain he’d beat me to the punch with an unequivocal denial.

        And while no one likes a grammar/capitalization/punctuation/clumsy-run-on sentence Nazi, you’re a freakin’ School Board member ferchrissakes; don’t youse think you ought strive for a higher standard?

        If you attribute this shortcoming to Common Core, just tell everyone how you effed up and we’ll move on. That’s how it works, am I right?

        The Gotch


  6. madisonexpat says:

    Reportedly, a teen in Utah, a fan of ISIS, tried to bomb his school. I don’t see this on the extensive BEP and would school board members want this to go on his permanent record?
    And wouldn’t his effort put him in line for the Bill Ayers Chair of higher education?


  7. You have confused suspensions and expulsions throughout this post. Also the decline described as encouraging was not in in African American suspensions (they increased), but in the proportion. I called this a distraction at the meeting (see here: Last, you recently quoted Joseph Epstein and his son, I thought you would be amused to know that his son and I were close friends in high school.


    • David Blaska says:

      Yes, suspensions. Thank you. Although both involve kicking a kid out of school, an expulsion is permanent. You don’t say whether you agree with the thrust of this blog. Does the Behavior Education Plan represent too much process? For that matter, what are the number of expulsions? Bonus question: Does the cost/benefit ratio of suspensions/expulsions beneficial to more students than it is injurious to the suspended/expelled student?


      • Expulsions aren’t permanent, they are time limited also, but a much longer time (generally 1-3 semesters). I believe we have had 2 expulsions this year, as well as a number of students who went into the expulsion abeyance program (when they do this, and don’t follow the rules, the expulsion process is restarted). I don’t know what too much process means as you used it here, but at the meeting on Monday, I emphasized that direct engagement (outside the classroom) with students displaying repeated negative behavior should be emphasized over meetings, data dives, professional development, self assessments…and much else. This needs to be followed by very deliberate work in returning the student. I think with both suspensions and expulsions, if nothing is done to change the negative behavior before returning a student, there are only minimal benefits for anyone, so I have tried to focus on what happens when a student is removed. You should watch the meeting.


      • I should add that some things are not eligible for expulsion abeyance, and that before a student can qualify there has to be a violence risk assessment.


      • David Blaska says:

        Kind of makes my point about all the process. Has become too legalistic.


  8. madisonexpat says:

    JeffSimpson @ 10:10
    Line two should read “chum” not chub. You may have autocorrect set to malaprop.


  9. Tom Paine says:

    Jeff7 –>” You can have any wrongheaded, unresearched opinion you want. ”

    Tom Paine replies –> Tautologies have no value. However, as an act of collegiality, over 130 years of empirical evidence/research fer ya…..just a few miles away: 1101 Genesee St.


  10. jeffsimpson7 says:

    I click Cornelius Gotchberg on facebook and get a person who looks alot like you. That leads me to one of two conclusions….1. Can an evil person have an evil doppelganger? 2. Are you so out of touch that you dont even know of your differing personalities.


    • @jeffsimpson7;

      The dickbreath on FacePlant is a The Gotch wannabe. He’d established at least two parody accounts at the all-but-defunct in order to profit from the invaluable The Gotch brand.

      After I got all his accounts BANNED he established a FacePlant account; pretty pathetic, isn’t it?

      Also pathetic is how you stoop to snooping about; seriously pitiable!

      First thing tomorrow, I’ll be checking with the MG School Board to make sure you aren’t posting on a tax-payer-funded computer, with a tax-payer-funded email account, and on the tax-payer’s dime.

      It’s the right thing to do to make sure there’s no tax-payer fraud, waste, or abuse, because IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!

      Your monumentally error-filled posting leads me to believe it’s probably from yer ObamaPhone, though, am I right?

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Ego vigilabo vigilum!

      The Gotch


  11. Balboa says:

    I can totally see where these nationwide restorative justice plans are so widely accepted with open arms by minority groups. They see it as a way to sticky it to evil “Whitey”, because past imaginary, perceived or real injustices. They see it as a way to make “Whitey” live in fear, pain and restitution for all civil rights violations previous to anything today. It is a vindictive policy to turn the society upside down, and make bad behavior acceptable and good behavior a gift of the so called white privilege.

    This is a totally evil policy. Like I have said in the past, There can only be one set of rules pertaining to everyone or else the whole system implodes.

    Everyone Grows up with injustice, everyone is given free will to choose right from wrong. Do I say something racist or do I blow away those poor thoughts or actions with positive ideas. Do I commit a crime or do I walk away. Do I study for an exam know that down the road it will help me in a career. Commitments are hard in life, the big picture is hard in life. Attaining Dreams are hard in life. Life can be just hard.

    The American Dream is not dead, The american dream is only defineable by the beholder and cannot be defined or given to you by someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

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