Over at the Eduwonk blog, Andy Rotherham has a thoughtful take on the New York Times story regarding Success Academy charter schools’ school discipline and suspension practices. He points out that former AFT President Al Shanker recognized that finding alternative placements for disruptive students may serve some legitimate interests, including meeting the specific needs of the disruptive student and ensuring an orderly learning environment overall. Once you get past the headline, the issue is much more complex than critics make it out to be:
Parents want discipline – balancing that want with the rights and needs of students overall is not simple or straightforward. That’s why as staunch as Al Shanker was on discipline he was equally strong in his support for quality alternative options for students.