Don’t dump “no excuses” discipline, writes Sharif El-Mekki in Education Post. He attended a no-excuses school that taught him self-discipline. Now the father of five, he’s the principal of Mastery Charter School–Shoemaker Campus in Philadelphia.
A growing backlash blames rigid discipline policies for paving the road from school to prison, writes El-Mekki. “Rigidity without love or respect is detrimental to our communities.”
However, he worries the pendulum is swinging too far. “Black families should not have to choose between chaotic or callous schools for their children.”
At his school, families want “no excuses in striving for excellence,” he writes.
What these families don’t want is an intense focus on disciplining students without also motivating their children to be self-disciplined. They expect us to help our students be successful despite any trauma they may have experienced or learning challenges they must overcome. They appreciate that we use restorative justice practices and consider cultural context.
“No excuses” extends to administrators and teachers, writes El-Mekki. “Low expectations are just as damning to our communities as rigidity without love and respect.”