Jamila Carter Weighs in on No-Excuses Discipline

Strict discipline, leavened with love and support, has long had its proponents among parents and the teaching corps of color. In an ethnographic study, published in the journal of Urban Education a decade ago, Dr. Franita Ware mourned the loss of this historical model, profiling two practitioners of “warm- demander” pedagogy, rooted in an ethic of caring and responsiveness.

But the “tough-minded, no-nonsense, structured and disciplined classroom environment” that Ware described has gone terribly awry, sparking a movement of “no-excuses” discipline in underserved urban school districts that has imposed strict control, demeaned parents, and silenced children’s . . . Read full article →

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Emily Kaplan’s Musings on the Luxury of Lingering in Childhood

A battle rages across the land. How on earth do we bridge those cavernous achievement gaps? The ghosts of No Child Left Behind hover. George W. Bush’s attempt to banish the “soft bigotry of low expectations” has morphed into a “no excuses” reform movement that ignores early childhood’s robust evidence base, consigning children to joyless hamster wheels and school creeds. Recess is disappearing.

Emily Kaplan, an elementary school teacher in Boston, has taken note. She’s bravely left the “Silent Area,” where giggling and critical thinking are prohibited. Here are her musings, originally published at . . . Read full article →

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Kindergarten Suspension: Eva Moskowitz Unmasked by John Merrow

The other night, bleary-eyed from screens, I watched John Merrow pin Eva Moskowitz to the wall on PBS NewsHour. The veteran journalist tackled the question “Is Kindergarten too young to suspend a student?”

Be forewarned: this is one of those New York-centric stories. Eva Moskowitz, who heads up Success Academy, a network of charter schools that have proliferated like potholes all over town, recently announced that she would not challenge Bill de Blasio for mayor in 2017. She said she wanted to be a force for “transformational change” in education. A staunch proponent of school . . . Read full article →

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