Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Conditions Of Violence In Our Public Schools Provide Evidence Of The Squandered Potential Being Conducted Within

Philadelphia Inquirer: Climate Of Violence Stifles Many City Schools

(Hat tip to my good friend NSangoma for bring this important information to my attention.  :-)  )

As a native of Philadelphia and a substitute teacher a long while ago - I can empathize with the conditions that are allowed to fester in some public schools.  As a transplant to a new city, looking for permanent employment I got by as a sub.

From this experience I learned rather abruptly that some young people are not inculcated with the respect for institutions, the enforcement of such by their parents causing them to yield their tendencies to strike back against a classmate for fear of the consequences when they come home.

During my time in both middle school and high school - the lunchtime fist fight in the cafeteria was an eyeopener to the reality.

Indeed we have been told that education is the great equalizer for our society.  We also see that claims of "resource discrimination" are the reasons for the bifurcated results that are seen among class and race.  Far too little conversation is had about what I believe is the biggest suppressor of academic success: the lack of DISCIPLINE.

More classroom instruction time is lost due to discipline problems than any of the other claims on the list.

The inability to gain successful buy-in of a grand destination by the:

  • Student
  • Their Parents
  • The Teacher
  • The School Administration
  • All Of The Adults In The Community
is the cause.   The discipline problems are the symptoms. 

The Mission Statement Of Audenried High School - Philadelphia Public School System: 
We the staff, parents, and community members of The New High School at Audenried, together take responsibility for the achievement of each of our students. We will surround our students with a safe, clean, and nurturing environment that promotes the development of respect and compassion for one another, the community, and the larger world around them. Through a structured environment, active encouragement and support, and challenging coursework our students will develop the confidence and self-discipline to strive for the level of achievement we expect of them. We believe the social and emotional development of our students is as important as their academic development, and we acknowledge that learning to cooperate, solve problems, communicate, and work productively with others will help them thrive in an ever changing global society. Every student that graduates from The New High School at Audenried will leave inspired to give back to their communities and prepared to make wise career and academic choices for their future.

The challenge is to OPERATIONALIZE this vision into the repetitive actions of all of the human beings that bear upon the school.

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