Comments: Letter From The Teacher #12: They're Gonna Mess With Texas!

I'm certain that the majority were in-house suspensions, since Texas funds schools based on student-attendance-days. Off-campus suspension doesn't count towards funding -- on campus does.

Posted by Phelps at August 2, 2011 11:07 AM

And as someone who was in a Texas high school between 90 and 94, this jumped out at me:

These articles obviously assume that the kids they're talking about are some kind of victims of evil school officials who only want to see them kicked out of school and locked up. They don't seem to realize or care that before a kid is subjected to such mild punishment as a day of OCS, they have already exhausted no less than 4-5 (sometimes more) lesser steps on the discipline scale and their behavior is so disruptive that they have to be removed from classes so other kids have the chance to learn.

In my experience, in-school suspension was the first level of discipline used by the majority of the non-teachers (principals) once they were involved. (My high school had four vice-principals for just under 4000 students. That's right at the designed capacity -- it's a huge school.) Second or third rounds involved in-school suspensions of upwards of 3-10 days. Essentially, to get sent off campus you had to be violent during the in-school suspension.

It isn't that they are evil school officials, with malice in their heart. It is that they are lazy and incompetent. The in-school suspensions they administered there (and which I thankfully managed to escape) caused real harm academically, because they were very flip about sending a student there for weeks at a time, forcing them to work without any real guidance from a teacher, stuck with the same faculty member all day -- and that faculty member was one who was essentially good for nothing but warehousing kids instead of teaching a class.

I think you may be underestimating the peculiar nature of the problem in Texas. It's the way things are run in the big urban and suburban districts, which is over half the students in Texas.

Posted by Phelps at August 2, 2011 11:16 AM

Yes, it is imperative that we send these men and their boss packing in 2012. Until then, fight holding actions. As a teacher, nothing sends chills down my spine more than the idea of Eric Holder inserting himself into the Texas education system.

Phelps, as a former student of and current teacher in Texas public schools, I never witnessed anything approaching that described by the government "study." While individual schools may do things better or worse then their peers, bringing the jackboot of the Federal government down on the neck of school officials is one sure-fire way to further demoralize public educators. The Federal jackboot will also increase the flight from public schools as parents recoil in horror from the increasing impunity of school age thugs to run their operations in the halls of dear old Public High. Anybody who doubts that future has has closed his eyes to the effects of government social beneficence.

Posted by Igor at August 2, 2011 02:37 PM

Try and remember that BarryO has his sights on Texas and this may just be another thorn he wants to put in Texas' (and Rick Perry's) side. I won't recount all the headlines relating to drilling halts, border security disputes, and Texas leaning red in the last elections. But BarryO has got to be one of the more vindictive politicians around lately.

Posted by Robert17 at August 2, 2011 06:55 PM

To be clear, I'm no supporter of Federal intervention. I want the Dept of Education dismantled soonest, and would be just fine with a complete separation of school and state. But I know from my own experience from DISD, those numbers do not surprise me in the least.

Posted by Phelps at August 3, 2011 01:15 PM