Michael the Archangel shadowed his daughter through a day at her “good” public high school, which happens to be his old high school. Things have changed.
While the (math) teacher was presenting his lesson, the students came and went from the classroom as they pleased. They talked in little groups, not about what the lesson was about but regarding phone conversations, who likes who, etc. One student (girl) sat on the desk (rather than the seat) with her back to the teacher as he tried to present his lesson, she was chatting with her girlfriends. When the teacher asked her to at least sit in the desk, she made a face and a growling noise – this happened three times (and she never did actually sit in her seat) when he finally told her to go sit in the hall. The good news, I finally saw what/where his limit was, the bad news, her sitting in the hall wasn’t do her any good and I suspect didn’t bother her much.
On the door to Spanish 1 was a sign that said, “No Food or Drink – water allowed. Please turn off all electronic devices.”
Yet as I sat in that class, again students were up and walking around, there was a little more control regarding the coming and going in and out of the classroom, but not much. Again, students talked amongst themselves and usually not in Spanish or about Spanish. I saw students eating lots of stuff, including candy; I saw lots of liquids being consumed that weren’t water. . . . I also witnessed a couple students using their cell phones, one was either text messaging or taking pictures with it, the other was whispering in it.
P.E. is the only class where discipline is enforced, the dad found. Students get no credit unless they dress for gym and participate.
He wonders how high schools can raise academic standards if it’s impossible to enforce discipline in academic classes.
I’ve visited high schools and not seen quite this level of disorder, but I have seen students eating, drinking, applying make-up and chatting to each other in class.