Tuesday, June 28, 2016

King gets personal on charter school discipline - POLITICO

King gets personal on charter school discipline - POLITICO:

King gets personal on charter school discipline

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 With help from Caitlin Emma, Kimberly Hefling and Caroline Kelly

KING GETS PERSONAL ON CHARTER SCHOOL DISCIPLINE: Education Secretary John B. King Jr. today will call on the charter school sector to rethink school discipline — something he should’ve done earlier as a charter school administrator, he’ll say. That’s according to prepared remarks for King’s speech before the National Charter Schools Conference in Nashville, Tenn., this afternoon. In 1999, King co-founded [http://politico.pro/1TprSI7] Boston’s Roxbury Preparatory Charter School — a high-performing urban charter school criticized for high suspension rates and its strict “no excuses” approach to discipline. (The school suspended [http://bit.ly/1vu8u4R] nearly 60 percent of its students out-of-school during the 2012-13 school year.) Roxbury Prep became one of the highest-performing middle schools in Massachusetts. King went on to scale the school’s success as managing director of the charter school network, Uncommon Schools. “But today, with the benefit of all we have learned over the last nearly 20 years, the leaders of Uncommon are rightly rethinking discipline,” King will say. “Early on, we had begun to integrate school counseling, mentoring, and support groups, but we did not do it fast enough. We all must commit to accelerate exactly this kind of work.”
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— Rethinking discipline provides charter schools with an opportunity for “professional reflection and growth,” King will say. And he’ll admit that he had an “internal debate” about raising the issue himself, worried he wouldn’t be able to capture its “complexity.” “What I know from those experiences, and what I’ve learned since, is that discipline is a nuanced and complicated issue,” King will say. “Yet the public discussion of these issues is often binary — pitting one extreme against another. It’s ‘zero tolerance’ or chaos. Authoritarian control or no discipline at all. So, I’ll say up front: I am not here to offer any hard-and-fast rules or directives. But, I believe the goal for all schools should be to create a school culture that motivates students to want to do their best, to support their classmates and to give back to their community, and to communicate in ways big and small to our students and educators that their potential is unlimited.”
— Charter schools have received “a lot of negative attention” when it comes to school discipline, King will say. “Not all of the criticism has been fair or accurate,” he’ll say. “But, as a whole, it is true that charter schools suspend a higher percentage of their students than do district schools. And students of color are more likely to be suspended in charter schools than in district schools.” A study released [http://politico.pro/1VdJB8s] earlier this year by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of Los Angeles, California, found that charter schools suspend black students and students with disabilities at higher rates than other students. But, “it’s not all bad news,” King will say. “The overall suspension rate in charter schools as well as district schools has fallen since the 2011-2012 school year.” Some excerpts from King’s prepared remarks: http://politico.pro/296cjZZ. He’ll deliver the keynote address at 4:30 p.m. ET. Watch live: http://bit.ly/1ROfRy1.
— King’s remarks follow a number of efforts led by the Obama administration to help states, districts and schools nationwide address disparities in school discipline. For example, last year the administration launched a #ReThinkDiscipline campaign [http://1.usa.gov/1gDTBlO] and the Education Department has supported the development of discipline resources for charter schools: http://bit.ly/293dsPV.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-education/2016/06/king-gets-personal-on-charter-school-discipline-215062#ixzz4Ct4czq2J 
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