Some high-performing, “no excuses” charters in New York City are rethinking strict rules, reports Monica Disare for Chalkbeat.
A few years ago, if a student arrived at an Ascend elementary school wearing the wrong color socks, she was sent to the dean’s office to stay until a family member brought a new pair. Now, the school office is stocked with extra socks. Students without them can pick up a spare pair before heading to class.
. . . “We’ve moved sharply away from a zero tolerance discipline approach,” (Ascend CEO Steve) Wilson said. “We believe a warm and supportive environment produces the greatest long-term social effects.”
Suspension rates were nearly three times higher at city charter schools in 2011-12, according to a Chalkbeat analysis.
Charter leaders say the rules create an orderly environment where students can learn.
Critics say high-needs students are pushed out.
Achievement First used to make students who’ve misbehaved wear a white shirt signaling they were in “re-orientation.” That policy has changed, said a spokeswoman.
KIPP no longer sends students to a padded “calm-down” room.
Recently, the New York Times published a video of a Success Academy teacher harshly criticizing a student who answered a math question incorrectly.
. . . Success Academy, for its part, has not changed its discipline philosophy and does not plan to, according to a spokesman.
Eva Moskowitz, the founder and CEO of Success Academy said it should serve as a model. “The city could learn from Success’s code of conduct and provide the same safe, engaging learning environments that children need — and parents want,” she said.