Bad Schools Are Whose Fault?


You can blame the Teachers Unions, the Bush Administration,immigration, legal and illegal , or, if you like you can blameracism.” That`s always popular.

But sometimes bad schools are the fault of the kids who go there, and no amount of funding or idealism can change that.

Edublogger Kimberly Swygert points to a New York Daily News story about one Harlem school that`s too dangerous for Teach for America, which thinks of itself as the Peace Corps for inner-city America. [Teacher corps flees |School too violent for group, By Kathleen Lucadamo , March 6, 2006]

Swygert writes

The teachers at this school dodge hurled chairs and wear earplugs to block out the noise. One expressed concern at why the DOE wasn`t doing anything. Short of enforcing martial law, I`m wondering what could be done when the students apparently care so little.

In a similar vein, see How I Joined Teach for America–and Got Sued for $20 Million,[ City Journal, Winter 2003]

Numerous new friends and acquaintances who have taught in D.C.`s inner-city schools–some from Teach for America, some not–report the same outrageous discipline problems that turned them from educators into U.N. peacekeepers.

I`ve learned that an epidemic of violence is raging in elementary schools nationwide, not just in D.C. A recent Philadelphia Inquirer article details a familiar pattern–kindergartners punching pregnant teachers, third-graders hitting their instructors with rulers.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey have reported nearly 30 percent increases in elementary school violence since 1999, and many school districts have established special disciplinary K-6 schools. In New York City, according to the New York Post, some 60 teachers recently demonstrated against out-of-control pupil mayhem, chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho; violent students must go.” Kids who stab each other, use teachers as shields in fights, bang on doors to disrupt classes, and threaten to “kick out that baby” from a pregnant teacher have created a “climate of terror,” the Post reports,