I posted the following thoughts regarding disciplinary problems in public schools in America on the Get Schooled blog of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on August 20, 2014:
Disciplinary problems in schools in the south metro area, especially, come from poverty and different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds that will take years, more, of concentrated effort and programs to overcome. These disciplinary problems are societal in nature, more than educational in nature, although schools inherit the problems in discipline within their walls because of society’s problems. The best reparations that we, as a nation, could give the black communities throughout our nation, would be more concentrated effort to enter their communities with fully-funded resources to lift their communities, as LBJ had started to do in the 1960s with great success.
However, since the mid-1970s, there has been a very selfish backlash to the altruism of the 1960s, and we, as a nation, have not served the poor in our nation as a great nation should have. We have dropped the ball in that continuing rectification of poverty of blacks (left over from slavery and Jim Crow), and now from immigrants, such as poor Hispanics. All of this shows up in our schools as disciplinary problems, but that means even more reason to monitor individual students instructionally, with even greater precision and care. Discipline problems in schools have nothing to do with how carefully educators monitor the progress of students, individually. That is done outside of classroom time. But, correct diagnosis and monitoring of individual students is a necessity, and an instructional truth, that must happen or too many students will continue to fail. Too many students have fallen through the cracks of educational systems and this must end if our public schools are to survive, and they must survive or schools for profit for private corporations will run not only public education but every aspect of our lives. We will no longer be a Democratic-Republic, if that were to happen to America, but instead become an oligarchy run by the privileged few of wealth and power for the wealthy and powerful.