Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Contrast in Cultures: Buffalo and Somalia

I'm not siding with the Somali culture on this one but I found this article interesting. Apparently, Somali children that act up in school bring disgrace upon their families and are beaten by their fathers. I think this is a bad practice and the Somalis need to respect our laws or go back home.
Respecting culture of kids : City & Region : The Buffalo News

However,contrast this with the way we allow our kids in the Buffalo Public Schools to misbehave without any consequences. They say, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Not true. We give them a free breakfast and a free lunch, not to mention a check to buy school supplies. Here's a letter in today's Buffalo News from what
sounds like a frustrated teacher. I thought it was well written and I hope you take the time to read it. Remember, despite what the bleeding hearts may say, it doesn't take much money to demand discipline from students. Poor people all over the world understand this but we seem to have a problem getting this concept:

Failing students, principals being protected by Williams
Buffalo School Superintendent James Williams is not only transferring and promoting failing principals, but students as well. Students with serious discipline problems are simply transferred to another school and teachers, especially those without the protection of tenure, are strong-armed into passing failing children. Like Lafayette Principal Fatima Morrell, students have no consequences for academic failure.

Students with a history of behavioral problems will be suspended only after assaulting a classmate or teacher. After a series of ineffective suspensions, they are transferred to another school only to become that school’s problem. All too often troublemakers remain in classrooms, hindering effective instruction and robbing others of the opportunity to learn. The consequence of removing a problem student from class is the administration’s indictment of teacher classroom management.

There is no incentive to work and study when students are promoted with the least amount of effort. “IDK/IDC” is a common answer found on tests. It stands for “I don’t know and I don’t care”—and why should they?

Our schools are a mess because Williams and the School Board have failed to deal with the biggest obstruction to learning: effective consequences for both principals and students alike.

Karyn Brady


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