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Thompson: Newark Turnaround Still Lacks Discipline

GloverSara Neufeld's recent "A Newark School Prepares - Again- to Reinvent Itself," in the Hechinger Report  showers well-deserved praise on principal Erskine Glover. Serious disruptions and violence have decreased greatly under his watch. 

But here’s how he describes his 47 8th graders:  Only one or two have significant behavioral issues and most don’t skip school, but only seven are “truly prepared” for high school.  An one scene from Neufeld's story, a dozen middle school boys "trickle into their English class over a 15-minute period, alternately slamming the door behind them and leaving again to use the bathroom. … One boy comes in playfully hitting another; the teacher kicks them out. ..."  

One wonders about the definition of “serious,” in terms of disruption when there is no violence in the room but one student is singing and one “who has been trying to work complains about all the door-slamming. He puts down his pen and goes to talk to a friend working on a computer at the back of the room. The screen shuffles between a grammar assignment (“Which sentence uses correct capitalization?”) and NBA standings.”- JT(@drjohnthompson) image via. 


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And this is one reason why so many students drop out. A classroom that is as time-wasting as this one apparently is (thanks to behavior standards that would be unacceptable in a third grade classroom) can't possibly feel like a good use of anyone's time -- not the teacher's, not the students who would engage if the room were orderly, and not the students who are creating the disorder.

hi sir!your comment is realy appriciatable.thanks.


What’s the point of keeping a school with that kind of environment open? Why are these students not effectively disciplined? There’s a simple solution here. Don’t let the students who aren’t ready for high school graduate.

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