In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 19, 2010 / 6 Sivan 5770

Disruptive brats and the schools that enable them

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Driving across town recently, I counted no fewer than a dozen cars sporting those annoying bumper stickers. No, not "Got tofu?" The ones that say, "My child is an honor student at such-and-such school." Based on their bumpers, it seems most of the children in town are on the honor roll. Either I live in a place where high achievers breed like mosquitoes in a swamp, or those stickers are not difficult to come by.

The truth is, the bumper sticker that ought to be slapped on the back of a minivan or two is: "My child was sent to the principal's office." I'm not holding my breath.

It turns out that the vast majority of American public school students — 80 percent — never visit the principal's office for what is known in the trade as "office discipline referral" or ODR. (Educators love acronyms).

That little gem of a finding was included in a study recently released by researchers from the Universities of Oregon and Connecticut in the April edition of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.

Is it possible that only 20 percent of the nation's students enrolled in elementary, middle and high schools ever exhibit behaviors that could be deemed inappropriate for the classroom? That despite the obvious truth in the adage, "Kids will be kids," the overwhelming majority of them never need admonishing by the school's supreme leader? Odd, because survey after survey indicates that teachers believe discipline problems among America's public school students are pervasive, serious and compromise student learning.

Back in 2004, a report by the nonpartisan, nonprofit opinion research organization Public Agenda titled "Teaching Interrupted: Do Discipline Policies in Today's Public Schools Foster the Common Good?" found that "teachers too often must operate in a culture of challenge and second guessing that is affecting their ability to teach and maintain order."

The report showed:

Nearly 8 in 10 teachers (78 percent) said students are quick to remind them that they have rights or that their parents can sue. Nearly half of teachers surveyed (49 percent) reported they have been accused of unfairly disciplining a student.

More than half of teachers (55 percent) said that districts backing down from assertive parents causes discipline problems in the nation's schools.

So it's possible more than 20 percent of students do deserve a visit with the principal, but their teachers are reluctant to send them hoofing down the hall. Better to issue a warning, take a deep breath and attempt to "manage" the classroom rather than take control of it. It's a strategy of appeasement, and by all accounts, it's not working.

Meanwhile, in the central Texas town of Temple, a trip to the principal's office now could include a date with an old fashioned wooden paddle. This "old school" practice was reinstituted by a unanimous vote of the city's school board at the behest of (shocker) parents who believe their children need a stronger disciplinary code.

Media reports indicate there has been only one actual paddling episode, yet behavior in the high school is measurably improved. Proving that children don't always need to be paddled; they just need to believe it's possible.

Much of the educational literature on school discipline is filled with jargon and psychobabble about outcomes and interventions and tying consequences to the undesirable behaviors in question. School discipline — when it is meted out — generally includes in-school or out-of-school suspension, which means if you're bad, you get to skip class.

Gosh. I wonder why kids act out?

I'm not necessarily suggesting that all schools bring back the paddle. Other consequences can be equally effective. (For example, misbehavior at my daughter's Catholic school can result in devotionals prayed in the chapel with the principal on Saturday morning).

The point is, schools with excellent discipline have better academic track records. They also are likely to have a well-worn path between the classrooms and the principal's office.

Or at least, they should.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks