What to do with off-track students

Teachers would love to send failing students to alternative schools — aka “transition schools” or “recuperative schools — writes John Thompson on This Week in Education.

Thompson likes the Gates Foundation’s, This Works for Me series, “much of which could have been written by teachers and their unions.”

Neighborhood schools end up with the hard-to-educate kids, Thompson writes. “More than three fourths of teachers and principals supported what researchers described as alternative learning environments as a way to reduce the dropout rate,” a Gates-funded Public Agenda poll reports.

(The) poll also shows that 90% of teachers believe that discipline problems are serious impediments, and 68% believe that alternative placements for those students would be effective.

Researchers say very good instruction “will reduce, but not entirely eliminate, student behavioral problems,” Public Agenda reports. “There is evidence that average student achievement (i.e., overall teacher effectiveness) is higher in schools where student discipline issues are addressed.”

No kidding.

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