Thursday, October 12, 2006

Who is in charge?

Apparently there has been an incident at a high school in Rio Rancho. What ever the specifics of that incident, in general, it was a manifestation of a deeper issue. There is a struggle for control in schools. The struggle exists momentarily and fundamentally.

If asked, I suppose that the leaders of the APS would argue that the school board and administration are fundamentally in charge of their schools. I would argue that they are not.

Board Policy forbids students from “sagging”, wearing pants low enough to deliberately expose underwear. The issue is not sagging. The point is that the school board prohibits sagging. And yet, students sag. The point is that the adults said no and the children are doing it anyway.

And when they do, they are toe to toe and eyeball to eyeball with adults. They are defying a rule; openly and deliberately. It is not inadvertent misconduct. It is deliberate and in your face misconduct And they are getting away with it.

Students are in charge at schools where prohibited behavior is permitted.

For a number of very good reasons; adults have legitimate and justifiable authority over children. It is widely conceded that that situation is in the best interests of children.

APS Leaders will not admit that they are not in charge of their schools.

For years the numbers associated with the lack of control in schools has been rising. APS Leaders offer that this is the result of keeping better track of the data. Apparently they keep getting better year after year. How long does in take to get good at writing the truth in the, How many kids got stabbed at your school today? box?

The axis of the Board, Administration, and Modrall, refuse to be held accountable for their conduct. They have forfeited the moral authority to demand that students be accountable for theirs. And they aren’t. At some substantial cost.

The situation is educationally inefficient. It must change.

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