$15 million gets you more classroom chaos
and identity politics warm fuzzies
None of that nonsense at Ms. Hicks’ middle school!
Your reading assignment today, class — YOU THERE IN THE BACK ROW! DON’T MAKE ME GO OVER OVER THERE! — is Chris Rickert’s take-down of the racially motivated “behavior education plan” employed by Madison’s public schools.
His excellent WI State Journal article today (11-04-18) states authoritatively when the Blaska Policy Werkes has been saying all year: the 82-page high school behavior education plan (BEP) wasn’t concocted to keep order in the classroom so all kids can learn. Its purpose is to make the race numbers work. The whole “racial disparity” thing.
Rickert says as much:
The Behavior Education Plan … emphasized the need to avoid suspending or expelling misbehaving students — largely as a way to reduce the disproportionate number of students of color who were missing school due to behavior problems.
Because reducing racial disparities is the goal
Because too many black and brown kids are being suspended. Which, after four years of the inscrutable BEP — dollar cost $15 million, according to Rickert — remains unchanged. What a boondoggle!
If anything, Madison’s public school classrooms are more unruly than ever.
“Behavior incidents” nearly doubled from 35,460 in the 2013-14 school year — the year before the BEP went into effect — to 69,279 in 2017-18. Maybe that’s due to “better record keeping,” the school district dissembles.
Doubling due to better record keeping? Doubtful. Because, again, the BEP was never about maintaining orderly classrooms and disciplined students. That is obvious from the total number of out-of-school suspensions; they dropped from 2,905 to 2,521 last school year.
Fair question: has it even occurred to MMSD that the increase in “behavior incidents” might be a direct result of fewer suspensions?
Back in February, parents descended on the school board to complain about the disruptive atmosphere at La Follette H.S. That was before the shooting on the bus leaving school and a second shooting a week later and a block away. Three teenagers were struck, all black or brown.
Today’s terribly “woke” public school educrat, the reduction in suspensions is a job well done.
The Trump administration plans to scrap the Obama Administration directives that “turned schools into war zones,” as the colorful New York Post puts it.
The federal directive, issued jointly in 2014 by the US departments of Education and Justice, warned public school districts receiving federal funding — including New York City — that they could face investigation and funding cuts if they fail to reduce statistical “disparities” in discipline by race. On average, the administration noted, black students are suspended at three times the rate of their white peers.
The directive also discourages student arrests and holds districts liable for the actions of “school resource officers … or other law enforcement personnel.”
Our hero! Uniforms required!
Time to promote Angie Hicks, principal of Wright middle school on Fish Hatchery Road. Rickert has Ms. Hicks saying that the BEP didn’t have much effect on her approach to behavior … she was going to do whatever was necessary to maintain a safe environment. Factors influencing student behavior would be dealt with, she said, but “if you fight, you’re going home.”
Guess what? Her school works! Its student body is poorer and more black and brown than the average Madison public middle school. It also had the second-fewest incidence of behavior incidents.
Oh, and Wright students wear uniforms. No hoodies! No sagging pants! No gang paraphernalia! Wright M.S. sees or hears your smart phone during the school day, it’s confiscated and parents have to claim it.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Proving again that is not about race or income. It is about behavior.
For Extra Credit:
District race-shames whistle-blowing teacher