Our colleague Kathy Megan has produced a must-read story on disciplinary practices for students at Achievement First. As you might have read, the charter organization’s Hartford schools have come under scrutiny recently for high suspension rates.
At the front of the room, the consequences of breaking the rules and the rewards of not doing so are spelled out on large posters that proclaim, “You’re not a born winner, you’re not a born loser. You’re a born chooser. Make the Right Choice!”
And in most classrooms, two or three students wear a white shirt over their blue school uniform, signaling that they are in “re-orientation” — a disciplinary measure that permits them to stay in academic classes but forbids interaction with peers and removes them from special classes like music or physical education.
To shed the white shirt, students need to get signatures from all their teachers certifying their good behavior and write an apology, which they present to their class. The students then may vote on whether to accept the offender back into class.
Prinicipal Jeff House readily agrees that the rate of suspensions is too high at his school and he is taking steps to bring it down, including revising the disciplinary code, but he also talks about the need to maintain order.
Click here for Kathy’s full story.