Stratford students: behavior program not making their day

Jackie Temelsiz, a 13-year-old honors student in the eighth grade at Wooster Middle School, is a hard-working student who has never had a behavior problem, her mother says. Full Story
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Jay

Korea

#1 Nov 30, 2008
Great idea for a program.
Basically if you pay attention and listen to the teachers you will never have to stand in the corner.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

#2 Dec 1, 2008
"But opponents contend the penalties issued through the Make Your Day program are sometimes "harsh and unjustified." In addition to the student petition, another petition, signed by about 40 parents ...
School administrators, including Cornish, Wooster Principal Jack Lynch and Assistant Principal Jim Singletary, insist the program was advocated by teachers at the school last June after several years of deteriorating student behavior and an increase in suspensions ....
'We are down about a third of the number of suspensions where we were last year at this time,' said Lynch ..."

Apparently the complaint from parents is not that the program is ineffective, but that it's "harsh and unjustified".

Teachers disagree, I'm inclined to agree w/them.
mike

South Windsor, CT

#3 Dec 1, 2008
The student in the interview did admit to disobeying the rules not once but three times, This program is like baby steps in the first and second grade, students should be used to it by now.
The problem is that they believe that they have some sort of rights that may over ride the teachers authority, they do not and should disciplined if they mis behave.
Students just do not take school seriously.
Rich from fairfield

Greenwich, CT

#4 Dec 1, 2008
I think that this program is a good idea. Long ago when I was in Jr. High and High school those distruptive kids took up more class time than 2.5 weeks out of the school year. Humilliation in order to get kids to behave is not a new concept. Parents used this punishment years ago and it did work regardless of age. Kudos to the Stratford School system for trying to do the right thing and take charge of the class room.
Mr Stratford

Higganum, CT

#5 Dec 1, 2008
If the students were behaving, they wouldn't need the program. So it's obvious why some students and their parents don't want the program, they don't like being called out for breaking rules. Too bad...
The one thing that turned me off was Cornish’s “zero tolerance” comment.“Zero Tolerance” programs are for mindless, spineless administrators.
concerned parent

Woodbridge, CT

#6 Dec 1, 2008
Jack Lynch is an innovator in educational leadership. Remember when he brought the dress code to a public school? He was met with resistance then, and since then, behavior problems went down, and test scores and student achievement went up at The Academy. This program involves parents in their child’s education, and puts the blame where it should be for misbehavior, on the misbehaving student, not the teachers and administrators.
parent

Milford, CT

#7 Dec 1, 2008
Joe DeCaro wrote:
"Apparently the complaint from parents is not that the program is ineffective, but that it's "harsh and unjustified".

Teachers disagree, I'm inclined to agree w/them.
Parents who cry the loudest about Make Your Day are those who are called to come to school because their child has reached that step of disobedience. They object to the "inconvenience" of having to make the trip. This is a great program designed to help both the students who misbehave as well as those who behave (by limiting classroom disruptions). Some other area schools using this program do not make the students "stand in the corner" but rather simply have them remove themselves from the group. I think if you ask other principals using this program they will tell you it HAS had a positive effect.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

#8 Dec 1, 2008
mike wrote:
... The problem is that they believe that they have some sort of rights that may over ride the teachers authority, they do not and should disciplined if they mis behave.
Students just do not take school seriously.
Unfortunately, students take themselves too seriously, i.e., they think they have an entitlement to be called "good" regardless of their behavior.

"Students lie, cheat, steal, but say they're good"

"NEW YORK – In the past year, 30 percent of U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test, according to a new, large-scale survey suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.

... The Josephson Institute, a Los Angeles-based ethics institute, surveyed 29,760 students at 100 randomly selected high schools nationwide, both public and private. All students in the selected schools were given the survey in class; their anonymity was assured.

... Cheating in school is rampant and getting worse. Sixty-four percent of students cheated on a test in the past year and 38 percent did so two or more times, up from 60 percent and 35 percent in a 2006 survey.

... Despite such responses, 93 percent of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77 percent affirmed that 'when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.'"

Apparently that depends on who you know.

Here's the whole story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081130/ap_on_re_...
Stratford Resident

New Rochelle, NY

#9 Dec 1, 2008
Wining parents of wining students have a very hard time sounding credible...because the aren't. If parents excuse the disruptive disciplinary problems then its not hard figuring out where the problems came from. Remembering to bring a spare pencil to class should be well ingrained by middle school. I feel bad for the students who are being interrupted by the sloppy work habits this program seeks to correct.
mom from shelton

Merrimack, NH

#10 Dec 1, 2008
They claim they are being treated like 5 year olds. Well, if they didn't behave like 5 year olds they wouldn't be treated that way. It amazes me the lack of respect these kids have today. Maybe if the parents concentrated on actually being parents and not afraid to disipline their kids for fear of hurting little Johhny's self esteem there wouldn't be a need for this program.
mom from orange

Shelton, CT

#11 Dec 1, 2008
There should also be a grading system for teachers. Unqualified teachers should get suspended or fired.
mom from orange

Shelton, CT

#12 Dec 1, 2008
Hei, that means some of the teachers did that when they were young?
ymz

Newtown, CT

#13 Dec 1, 2008
Are we talking about professional educators who cannot make independent decisions regarding student behavior or who need a 5 step program to follow to manage their classrooms? Sounds like it to me. Why do we need educators with certification, experience and coursework then? Why not just give out the step programs and scripts to 'instructors' to follow and save us all the money and charade of the degreed educator?

Nice way to inject resentment into the learning relationship. Earning points to prove what? Is this a rehab program or a middle school? Nice way to demean the vast majority of well behaved students and create dependence on external rules. What happens when there are no point awarded in the real world for meeting simple behavioral expectations?
Sylvia Guberman

New Rochelle, NY

#14 Dec 1, 2008
Leave the teachers out of this. Do you realize how difficult it is to be a teacher today? Some parents are not doing their job at home by raising solid good citizens and then they look to blame the school system. The blame lies with the parents or parent. We never had such problems when my children and grandchildren went to the same schools in town. What is happening in society today has to be addressed. School is the place where one gets educated and home is the place where a child needs to be prepared for school. Parents, wake up and do your job because you owe this to your child or children.
Teacher

Bridgeport, CT

#15 Dec 1, 2008
The problem I see with this is that students have to earn a minimum number of points in order be considered ok. If they don't earn the points, they get a letter sent home.

What if the teacher doesn't seem them doing something good? What if the student is very quiet, or having an off day?

There is no reason to require students to earn points during the day to be considered good. Just punish the knuckleheads that can't follow the rules.
Lurch777

Stratford, CT

#16 Dec 1, 2008
C,mon people!! It's working!!! Stop the moaning!! If your kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing then there will be no problems!!! U Rangggg!!!
taxpayers demand more

Woodbridge, CT

#17 Dec 1, 2008
>>>>>>>Th ey're treating us like we're 5-year-olds," said Jackie, who helped organize a student petition and appeared before the Board of Education last month to argue against the program.

Taxpayers like myself, no kids in the school system, but saddled with high taxes to subsidize education are fed up with poor results from students.

If parents want us to continue the subsidy they would be best off accepting the discipline of this program. If they insist not taxpayers like myself should withdraw their financial support.

Lets see these parents step up with the full cost of education on their backs.
ymz

Newtown, CT

#18 Dec 1, 2008
Leave the teachers out of it? Job too tough? Students won't learn? Bad home life? Sorry, no dice. Calling yourself a professional, touting that Masters degree, collecting the paycheck? Do the job professionally, no excuses.

Blame? For what? We're talking middle school here, not "what's happening in our society". The vast majority of students are well behaved and well parented. If there are a few students who experience difficulty in meeting behavioral standards in a middle school setting, and those students cannot be directed by a professional educator, then perhaps we should focus these efforts on those students. Do we not employ an army of specialists within our community and school system to do just that?

If a majority of students experience difficulty in functioning in a middle school classroom, perhaps we need to examine what's happening in that classroom.

As adults perhaps they'll be able to 'earn points' to demonstrate their fine behavior to their employers, perhaps you'd like to have a 5 step behavioral point system at your place of employment too!
JennDee

Baltimore, MD

#19 Dec 1, 2008
So how do you get a 13 year old honors student to stop talking? Her own quote supports the need for some sort of system to help the teachers.

"One time I was put in a Step 1 for talking in art class, and then in Step 2 for talking again, and then in Step 3 for talking in Step 2."

What does she suggest her "punishment" should be?
Kenny J

Bridgeport, CT

#20 Dec 1, 2008
Parents need to be held accountable too! "Treated like 5 year olds?" Then stop ACTING like 5 year olds in HIGH SCHOOL!!!

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