Union President Proposes Separate School For Disruptive Kids

Not usually known for her ideas, CTU president Marilyn Stewart busted out with this notion at her City Club speech yesterday:

Unruly students need their own school, teachers' union
president says
 Medill Reports

The proposal comes on the heels of a $30 million anti-violence program
spearheaded by Chicago schools CEO Ron Huberman and
rolled-out last month.

Unfiltered: Marilyn Stewart's
Address to the City Club of

Audio of the Stewart speech. 

disruptive students to separate school?
Sun Times

Chicago Teachers Union
President Marilyn Stewart said Thursday that disruptive students should
be taken out of regular classrooms and put in a separate school until
they are ready to behave.

Questions:  Do these schools work?  Would they be any different from the schools we already have? Don't we already have these?


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  • There are ways such schools could work. I think they would have to be very regimented with a great deal of physical activity. It would get the disruptors out of class and possibly in a situation better suited for their particular needs.

  • Other districts have their "special schools" to which they send their suspended students, such as those who violate the zero tolerance drug policy by giving another child a Tylenol. However, that is only a few students. In Chicago's case, you probably would need 5 or 6 buildings. Add to Chicago's College Preps, Career Academies, Arts High Schools, Military Academies, and Magnet Schools, the Arne Duncan School for Incorrigibles, and the Ronald Huberman Potential Delinquents Academy. How many of Marilyn's members are going to volunteer to work there?

    Dennis Byrne came close to Stewart's suggestion when he suggested all-male schools. Also, this step is just one away from the Juvenile Detention Center.

  • I think this is a good idea. It is highly unfair to have students who actually want an education held back by disruptive students.

    If done correctly, the plan could even benefit the disruptive students themselves by giving them the support they apparently need. If if not done correctly, it would still benefit the non-disruptive students.

  • While this will make life easier for the majority of teachers, can you deny it will also make life easier for the majority of students as well.

    If the new school has such a stigma, maybe it will prevent the students from being disruptive in the first place.

    If a student improves, why not send him/her back to the regular school?

  • I would argue that the hardship would be a somewhat earned hardship in this case. I don't imagine too many disruptive students would have a parent all that involved in their educational, physical and psychological health.

    I'll have to say there were no disruptive students in my classes when I was in school, neither elementary where I was in the general track nor high school when I was in the college prep honors track. It just wouldn't have been tolerated.

    One thing I do know, from research, is that schools with a high percentage of poverty (where the majority of the students are poor) do not educate as well as schools where the majority of the students are middle class or higher. And that includes the education of middle class students. One theory for that is that schools that are majority poor, have more disruptive classroom environments thus affecting the education of all students present.

    If a teacher has to spend 20 minutes on classroom management, that is 20 minutes that could have been spent in more or deeper instruction.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    By the way, one of the Bus Historians said that there was a bad boys school around 57th and State, and a special beat up CTA bus to convey them to and from that school. So, it has been tried before, and maybe it is time to bring it back.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    I think it's a great idea. There are definitely kids who are so disruptive that nothing can get done in the classroom. I teach in a pretty good school, and we have maybe 2 or 3 students (in the whole school) who would benefit from a separate school. These are students who are not criminals, but are either unable or unwilling to sit and learn. Their misbehavior drives the teachers nuts year after year, and their classmates tend to just give up because they know the teacher will never get through a whole lesson with the constant interruptions. Getting those kids out would make everyone happy.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    "If a teacher has to spend 20 minutes on classroom management, that is 20 minutes that could have been spent in more or deeper instruction."
    Seriously, if a teacher spends 20 minutes on effective and proactive classroom management, that is returned ten fold in instruction time, provided the instruction is equally well planned.

  • In reply to 5plus5:

    Sure. If you only have to spend that 20 minutes once. But when you have to spend those minutes EVERY DAY because of the SAME STUDENTS there is a lot of wasted time. Ask the non-disruptive students sometime: they will tell you how they wish their teachers could teach instead of doing discipline!

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    I'm shocked that no one is discussing the presence in almost all CPS classrooms of children with undiagnosed disabilities that lead to disruptive behavior. Guess it's easier to see it as bad parenting or even poor teaching. Sheesh.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    The 99

    Dear Nobody

    I would like to try and answer some of your post, you wrote:

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    Since Charter Schools are so great, send the very disruptive kids there.

  • In reply to cermakRd:

    Isn't CPS trying to close MONTEFIORE SPECIAL SCHOOL? Why? Who is the "genius" orchestrating that bad move!

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