Renascence School Education News - private school

Friday, April 17, 2015

Restraint and Seclusion, Gifted Education Among Amendments to ESEA Bill

Education Week – Christina Samuels

“States would be required to adopt policies to prevent unnecessary use of restraint and seclusion in schools, and a federal gifted education grant program would be reauthorized for six years, under amendments that were added this week to the proposed rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act…The restraint and seclusion bill was brought forward by Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut. It would require state departments of education to develop plans to protect students from abuse, aversive interventions that compromise their safety, or any “physical restraint for seclusion imposed solely for purposes of discipline or convenience.” The gifted education amendment came from retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland…”Serving students who are low-achieving is important, but so is nurturing students who have high ability and enormous potential. I believe we need to know more about these kids, and our teachers need to know how to help these children achieve and succeed,” Mikulski said in a statement introducing her amendment.”(more)

Friday, March 20, 2015

As Awareness of the School-to-Prison Pipeline Rises, Some Schools Rethink the Role of Police

The Huffington Post – Harold Jordan

“As talk of law enforcement reform continues to swirl in the aftermath of the Department of Justice’s Ferguson report, some communities have quietly made progress in addressing how police interact with students. Traditionally, police stepped on school grounds to respond to emergencies, such as those involving threats or major acts of violence, or to provide security, such as at arrival and dismissal times and at special events. What’s new is the growing trend of having police stationed in schools full-time. In other words, schools have become some officers’ beat. And like traditional policing, many officers walk this beat armed. The consequence has been the rise of the school-to-prison pipeline…The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Reform …noted that, “School district policies and practices that push students out of schools and into the juvenile justice system cause great harm and do no good”…The task force recommends that schools work with police to do everything they can to “find alternatives to student suspensions and expulsion,” such as through diversion programs.”(more)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sen. Casey Introduces Bill To Reduce School Suspensions

The Huffington Post – Christina Wilkie

“As members of the Senate hurried out of town Wednesday ahead of a major snowstorm, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) quietly introduced a bill that could help keep tens of thousands of young people in the classroom and out of the juvenile justice system. The Keep Kids in School Act, introduced Wednesday, aims to reduce the number of kids suspended from U.S. schools each year by encouraging school districts to collect detailed information about disciplinary practices and by providing additional resources to school systems struggling with high suspension rates. “Over the course of one school year, the number of children suspended could fill the seats at [Pittsburgh Steelers stadium] Heinz Field nearly 54 times,” Casey said in a statement, referring to the nearly 3.5 million students nationwide who were suspended from school in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. “This legislation will give more schools the tools they need to keep children in the place that is most likely to lead to a successful life: the classroom.” The bill is the latest piece of a nationwide movement to reform what are known as zero-tolerance discipline practices, which typically mandate harsh punishments for even minor violations of school rules, like breaking dress code and being tardy. Casey’s proposal also comes amid a growing body of research showing that suspensions often disproportionately impact minority and disabled students, and that students who are suspended are more likely to drop out of school before graduating.”(more)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Effective parenting leads to success

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are not raised in a proper environment are likely to have learning and developmental difficulties.


If this statement isn’t enough to make parents neurotic, the barrage of information might. Today there are diagnoses to explain almost every behavior problem — from attention deficit disorder to depression. As a result, it is easy to believe a child needs medication or counseling rather than parental guidance.


Then our busy lives create another challenge. Many parents feel guilty about the amount of time they spend with their kids. To compensate, parents give their children almost anything they want.


And some parents want to be “best friends” with their youngsters. These adults make their children “equals” in an effort to maintain approval.


Are we on the right track? According to research by Stanford University psychology professor Eleanor Maccoby, Harvard trained psychologist John Martin and University of California psychology professor Diane Baumrind, probably not. These researchers say there are four types of parents.


Uninvolved parents are not responsive to the child’s emotional needs or demanding about behavior.


Indulgent (permissive or nondirective) parents are more responsive than they are demanding. They tend to be nontraditional and lenient and generally do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation and avoid confrontation.


Authoritarian parents are highly demanding and directive, but are not responsive. According to Dr. Baumrind “They are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation”.


Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive and balance clear, high parental demands with emotional responsiveness and recognition of childhood autonomy.


These researchers also suggest indulgent parenting, like that highlighted in the examples above, is far from ideal. Instead they say authoritative parenting, a blend of authoritarian and indulgent parenting, is the most effective way to guide children. They use studies to demonstrate that this type of parenting produces well-adjusted, high-achieving kids.


Authoritative parents make a child feel accepted, loved, valued and supported and are also firm about expectations and limits. Unlike parents who have few rules or standards for their child’s behavior, authoritative parents establish limits for how their child acts. However, they also allow their child autonomy. And even though it is sometimes unnerving, they tolerate, support and encourage their child’s sense of individuality.


Authoritative parenting is really common sense. Give kids limits, establish consequences for poor behavior and allow them the freedom to grow into unique individuals. You should be pleased with the results.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Many pupils are expelled illegally and not as a last resort, charity alleges

The Guardian – Sally Weale

“A significant number of schools who expel pupils are acting illegally, using discriminatory practices that disproportionately affect the most vulnerable children, a charity has claimed. The Communities Empowerment Network (CEN) made the claims as it published a study on the impact of exclusions. Mapping the Exclusion Process: Inequality, Justice and the Business of Education is a small-scale, qualitative study based on 26 in-depth interviews with parents, head teachers and local authority workers involved with and affected by exclusions in the London area, carried out over nine months. Although the overall number of children permanently excluded has fallen, the report claims too many exclusions are unlawful, and too often involve children with special educational needs and those from ethnic minorities. “There is a wilful, wasteful and discriminatory war on our children,” said Prof Gus John, the founder of CEN, who was the first black director of education at a London local education authority.”(more)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Report Shows School Suspensions Amount to 18 Million Days

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“New research from the University of California at Los Angeles has found that despite suspension rates dropping in school districts across the country, US students still lost around 18 million school days due to out-of-school punishments in the 2011-12 school year. The report, “Are We Closing the School Discipline Gap,” looked at data for every school district across the country, finding school systems in Missouri, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania that have an “alarming” suspension rate of 20% or higher among their elementary school students…Despite a number of improvements, there have not been many meaningful changes to the national suspension rate, causing racial gaps to continue to persist. Including all grade levels, 16% of black students were suspended in 2011-12 in comparison with 7% of Hispanic students and 5% of white students. Researchers suggest the current concern pertaining to out-of-school suspensions comes from a greater risk of academic failure, dropping out of high school, and involvement within the juvenile justice system…“We conclude that our nation cannot close the achievement gap if we ignore the discipline gap,” the UCLA report said.”(more)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hansen: Are parents training resilience and creativity out of their kids? – Matthew Hansen

“We congratulate kindergartners when they line up neatly, pat second-graders on the head when they color between the lines, scold fourth-graders when they ring the doorbell twice to see what happens. All of these parenting moves make perfect sense, says an Omaha expert on child development. And each one of these moves, when drummed into our kids’ heads, can produce adults ill-equipped for the new American economy. “We love disruptive innovators,” says Dr. Laura Jana. “We don’t love them when they are 4.””(more)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Too much or too little school discipline? Data often at odds with teacher, parent experiences

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“Nothing brings out the blog skeptics as reports on disparities in how schools dole out student discipline, the focus a new report released this morning. The disparity in school discipline is an important issue and one that needs to be better understood. It’s also a complex issue because many parents and teachers contend they are seeing increased discipline problems in their schools and feel little is being done about it. My own teens complain of time lost to kids acting up in their classes. The conflicting views of student discipline – too much or too little — explain why a five-member Senate study committee led by Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, could not come to consensus on recommended policy changes. Among the research discussed by the committee at its fall hearings: Georgia third-graders and eighth-graders who’ve been suspended for 10 days or more are less likely to earn a high school diploma. An AJC investigation a year ago found 57 percent of students expelled and 67 percent of students given out-of-school suspensions were black. Thirty-seven percent of Georgia public school students are black.”(more)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

California’s school suspensions show racial disparity

USA Today – Michael Bott and Ty Chandler

“Teenager Dwayne Powe Jr. got a suspension in eighth grade. He didn’t get into a fight. He wasn’t caught with drugs. He committed no crime. “I actually was asking for a pencil,” Powe said. Powe said his class began an exercise and he asked to borrow a pencil from another student. That’s when his teacher told Powe he was being disruptive and made him leave class. Powe tried explaining he had only asked for a pencil, but that only dug his hole deeper, he said. He was technically suspended for “willful defiance”. Nearly 200,000 California students who were suspended for willful defiance last year can relate to Powe’s story. What constitutes willful defiance is somewhat vague, but it generally allows teachers to remove students from the classroom if their behavior is thought to be disruptive or defiant. It’s the most common reason California students were suspended—and students of color are overwhelmingly targeted.”(more)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Practice of Restraining, Secluding Students Faces Growing Opposition

Education News – Grace Smith

“A state report released last week found that public schools are restraining or isolating children against their will at a surprising rate, and hundreds of students have been left with injuries and unmet educational needs. Children with emotional or intellectual disabilities in particular have been targeted, according to Annie Waldman of ProPublica. Over 90,000 instances of restraint and seclusion have been recorded in the past three years generating more than 1,300 injuries, with at least two dozen of them doing serious damage. One child was restrained more than 700 times during one school year.”(more)