A recent Baltimore Sun article revealed an initiative by Baltimore school officials to reduce discipline for pre-K and kindergarten students. Principals will consult with the central office before they suspend pre-K and kindergarten students.
This action continues to focus attention on school discipline rather than academic achievement. New Baltimore school superintendent Gregory Thornton believes that “you can reduce suspensions and not improve climate”. He has requested that central office provide other indicators that can determine if the school has a positive environment.
One indicator of a positive school environment is the relationships between teachers and students. When there are minimal differences in teacher-student racism values, there is a synergy in the school and the classroom that results in higher academic success and negligible disciplinary problems between teacher and students.
The Baltimore school initiative is doomed to fail because it does not address the racial conflict that exists between teachers and students. When comparing the academic success of students, White students outperform Black students at each level in a predominately-Black student school district. Black students are also more likely to receive disciplinary consequences when compared to White students in the Baltimore school district.
When will Baltimore school officials realize that the primary ailments associated with the lack of Black student achievement and the overrepresentation of student discipline stems from the racial classroom conflict between teacher and students?
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D. www.positiveracialrelationships.com PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012 Published Book – Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships
“The model that you use is good for most schools”. ~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools” ~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President