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(NBC News)   Principal of struggling Boston-area elementary school replaces security guards with art teachers - and student achievement improves. In other news, Boston SWAT teams are to be replaced by pottery instructors and mimes   (dailynightly.nbcnews.com) divider line 81
    More: Interesting, elementary schools, student achievement, Boston SWAT teams, test prep  
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3460 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 May 2013 at 11:35 AM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-02 10:09:54 AM
It's amazing how education works when you actually educate.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-05-02 10:51:56 AM
I'm a little surprised to learn the principal had discretion to choose between guards and teachers. I expected security to be dictated by the city.
 
2013-05-02 11:13:25 AM
This may just be the cynic in me talking, but $1 says he also quietly "encouraged" problem students to seek their educational fortunes elsewhere.
 
2013-05-02 11:19:33 AM

Shostie: This may just be the cynic in me talking, but $1 says he also quietly "encouraged" problem students to seek their educational fortunes elsewhere.


The whole story reads like there's a whole lot more to the story. This was a piece that wanted to say one thing and it said that one thing. The reality is no doubt significantly more nuanced.
 
2013-05-02 11:36:04 AM
l.wigflip.com
 
2013-05-02 11:37:37 AM
Some people are going to have a problem with this.
I'll fetch the popcorn.
 
2013-05-02 11:40:10 AM
Somebody better tell the NRA.
 
2013-05-02 11:40:12 AM
Dont' make me send in the clowns.
 
2013-05-02 11:41:59 AM
Schools with strong art and music programs have higher achievement levels in all subjects, but whenever there is a budget problem, they are the first to get cut as "superfluous." And when the school starts doing worse in math and science, the administrators and school boards are surprised.

It's as pathetic as eliminating recess from elementary school schedules, and then wondering why the kids can't sit still in class.
 
2013-05-02 11:42:38 AM
What if the art teachers were ex Navy Seals that were demoted to Cooks to now Art Teachers?
 
2013-05-02 11:43:16 AM
Boston schools are surprisingly ghetto and Kafkaesque given the otherwise incredibly urbane and educated polity of the area.  there's a few outliers, but most of them fall squarely into the "nightmare scenario" for sending a small child to attend.
 
2013-05-02 11:45:05 AM

Shostie: [l.wigflip.com image 613x458]


i.chzbgr.com
 
2013-05-02 11:45:40 AM
So they replaced the security guards with Arcadians?
 
Ehh
2013-05-02 11:45:48 AM

give me doughnuts: Schools with strong art and music programs have higher achievement levels in all subjects, but whenever there is a budget problem, they are the first to get cut as "superfluous." And when the school starts doing worse in math and science, the administrators and school boards are surprised.

It's as pathetic as eliminating recess from elementary school schedules, and then wondering why the kids can't sit still in class.


Clearly, the answer is more guns and more testing. And tax cuts.
 
2013-05-02 11:46:53 AM
There is a 99.999% chance this was a brilliant move. After all, what's the worst that could happen?
 
2013-05-02 11:48:05 AM

Shostie: This may just be the cynic in me talking, but $1 says he also quietly "encouraged" problem students to seek their educational fortunes elsewhere.


That would be a trick.  It's difficult to expell a public school student in MA, nevermind all the problem one's in a town like Roxbury.
 
2013-05-02 11:52:19 AM

Nattering Nabob: There is a 99.999% chance this was a brilliant move. After all, what's the worst that could happen?


And we should spend a brazillion dollars making that 0.001% chance even smaller, right?  Perhaps mandatory pat downs, bomb sniffing dogs and National Guard acting as security?  We can park my old tank where the playground used to be and make sure nobody outguns us!
 
2013-05-02 11:54:35 AM

Shostie: This may just be the cynic in me talking, but $1 says he also quietly "encouraged" problem students to seek their educational fortunes elsewhere.


You're saying the art teacher is Jim Belushi, and he beat the crap out of the thuggy kids?
 
2013-05-02 11:55:00 AM

give me doughnuts: Schools with strong art and music programs have higher achievement levels in all subjects, but whenever there is a budget problem, they are the first to get cut as "superfluous." And when the school starts doing worse in math and science, the administrators and school boards are surprised.


Sort of a loaded discussion.  Sure, maybe they'll have lower language and science scores if you cut art programs - so instead of cutting arts, what do they cut?  Language and science?  It would seem like the answer to your argument is 'cut nothing' with regard to specific school curriculum.  This school was sort of lucky in that they could free up the security money.  Not every school has the luxury of neighborhood violence.  Weird.
 
2013-05-02 11:55:04 AM

FullMetalPanda: What if the art teachers were ex Navy Seals that were demoted to Cooks to now Art Teachers?


That sounds like a plot for a move starring The Rock.
 
2013-05-02 11:57:21 AM

Aarontology: It's amazing how education works when you actually educate.


And take away the armed prison camp aspect.
 
2013-05-02 11:58:25 AM
wp.streetwise.co

\I'll bet Pottery Instructors and Mimes wouldn't shiat the bed when they find one of these
 
2013-05-02 12:00:48 PM
Vice Principal Wolters: I care about these kids just as much as you do. And if I'm forced to choose between Mozart and reading and writing and long division, I choose long division.
Glenn Holland: Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want, Gene. Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about.
 
2013-05-02 12:01:20 PM
I like to paint when I'm through with the day's chores around the ranch.

Like my damn house. And the bigger barn. And the stables. And ... damn painting is never done. Though I guess I wouldn't call it art.

What was the question?
 
2013-05-02 12:03:53 PM

Glockenspiel Hero: Nattering Nabob: There is a 99.999% chance this was a brilliant move. After all, what's the worst that could happen?

And we should spend a brazillion dollars making that 0.001% chance even smaller, right?  Perhaps mandatory pat downs, bomb sniffing dogs and National Guard acting as security?  We can park my old tank where the playground used to be and make sure nobody outguns us!


I do not believe we should spend a brazillion dollars keeping all the kids safe.
I do wonder why it is called the "National Guard" since they seem to deploy abroad at a higher percentage than regular army units.
If the principal at my son's school did away with security in favor of art, and there was a Sandy Hook style shooting, I would be angry enough to want to go all ITG (if she were a man).
 
2013-05-02 12:04:13 PM

Aarontology: It's amazing how education works when you actually educate.


Done. Schools aren't occupational training centers, where children are stored until they can be parceled out to assigned jobs.
 
2013-05-02 12:05:23 PM
i39.tinypic.com
 
2013-05-02 12:08:30 PM

FormlessOne: Aarontology: It's amazing how education works when you actually educate.

Done. Schools aren't occupational training centers, where children are stored until they can be parceled out to assigned jobs.


I wouldn't say that necessarily.  A big problem with high schools is that there isn't enough vocational training to be had.

College isn't right for everyone, and all jobs don't require a college degree to be successful.  If a student enjoys working on car engines, there ought to be an avenue to prepare them to pass an ASE certification when they graduate.
 
2013-05-02 12:09:03 PM

willfullyobscure: Boston schools are surprisingly ghetto and Kafkaesque given the otherwise incredibly urbane and educated polity of the area.  there's a few outliers, but most of them fall squarely into the "nightmare scenario" for sending a small child to attend.


It's surprising that you find it surprising.

Boston is the epicenter of the American Busybody Mentality.  It's the origin of sticking your nose in other people's business, and patting yourself on the back for being so involved.  It's where control freaks go to control other control freaks.  First it was the Puritans, and now its Democrats.  Little has changed, except they've gotten slightly less religious-y about it, and shifted their main focus of control-freak-ism from church to money.

As a result, they think every enterprise has to be run by people who believe they are more incredibly urbane and educated than everyone else.

Unfortunately, they're not nearly as bright as they think they are.

Government-run schools have no idea how many security guards to have, as opposed to art teachers, or anything else that costs money that could be spent on anything else.  Every economic decision they make is a guess.  Because they are government-run, and do not have voluntarily-paying customers, they receive no economic feedback whenever they make a decision.  They have no idea if they are actually meeting the preferences of their erstwhile customers, because they are not actually customers at all -- the children are forced to be there, and the adults are forced to pay.  They only way that a government-run enterprise knows when it's made a bad decision is when the political screeching gets louder than usual.  That's the only economic information they have to go by.

That's why these government-run enterprises go inexorably downhill toward ghetto status, and can only make a change when the levels of crappiness and cost become a full-blown political embarrassment.

See, also, the Big Dig.
 
2013-05-02 12:09:04 PM
This is what these kids need...

www.destgulch.com
 
2013-05-02 12:11:06 PM

Nattering Nabob: If the principal at my son's school did away with security in favor of art, and there was a Sandy Hook style shooting, I would be angry enough to want to go all ITG (if she were a man).


No matter what you do, this is an infinitesimally small chance that there will be a school shooting. The problem (in just about every area, whether it be security, testing, etc) with schools nowadays is that the lowest denominator wins, to the determent of everyone else.
 
2013-05-02 12:13:58 PM

Nana's Vibrator: give me doughnuts: Schools with strong art and music programs have higher achievement levels in all subjects, but whenever there is a budget problem, they are the first to get cut as "superfluous." And when the school starts doing worse in math and science, the administrators and school boards are surprised.

Sort of a loaded discussion.  Sure, maybe they'll have lower language and science scores if you cut art programs - so instead of cutting arts, what do they cut?  Language and science?  It would seem like the answer to your argument is 'cut nothing' with regard to specific school curriculum.  This school was sort of lucky in that they could free up the security money.  Not every school has the luxury of neighborhood violence.  Weird.


Maybe we shouldn't be cutting money out of education at all? I know it's not easy, but I have this idea that government should provide (or make sure the private sector fairly provides) some basic services (education, health, protection) from a moral obligation even if they are not economically ideal.
 
2013-05-02 12:14:03 PM

Barfmaker: This was a piece that wanted to say one thing and it said that one thing. The reality is no doubt significantly more nuanced.


This.

FormlessOne: Schools aren't occupational training centers


Evidently, judging by the number of how many kids graduate with zero marketable skills.  Mission accomplished?
 
2013-05-02 12:14:11 PM
So when you treat kids like prisoners they act like prisoners?

When you treat them like students they act like students?

What will they think of next?
 
2013-05-02 12:15:40 PM

Gecko Gingrich: Nattering Nabob: If the principal at my son's school did away with security in favor of art, and there was a Sandy Hook style shooting, I would be angry enough to want to go all ITG (if she were a man).

No matter what you do, this is an infinitesimally small chance that there will be a school shooting. The problem (in just about every area, whether it be security, testing, etc) with schools nowadays is that the lowest denominator wins, to the determent of everyone else.


It's basically the same as terrorism. You're more likely to drown in a swimming pool then be killed by a terrorist but that didn't stop us from spending billions of dollars and shifting the focus of our national foreign policy to address it.
 
2013-05-02 12:25:41 PM

willfullyobscure: Boston schools are surprisingly ghetto and Kafkaesque given the otherwise incredibly urbane and educated polity of the area.  there's a few outliers, but most of them fall squarely into the "nightmare scenario" for sending a small child to attend.


Could be worse, they could be built like Panopticons.
 
2013-05-02 12:27:55 PM

FullMetalPanda: What if the art teachers were ex Navy Seals that were demoted to Cooks to now Art Teachers?


Like Mr. Rogers, you mean?
 
2013-05-02 12:31:45 PM

Clemkadidlefark: I like to paint when I'm through with the day's chores around the ranch.

Like my damn house. And the bigger barn. And the stables. And ... damn painting is never done. Though I guess I wouldn't call it art.

What was the question?


Why do you post here, other than your obvious desire to depress the rest of us with the sorry state that a member of our species is capable of attaining?
 
2013-05-02 12:37:33 PM

Nana's Vibrator: give me doughnuts: Schools with strong art and music programs have higher achievement levels in all subjects, but whenever there is a budget problem, they are the first to get cut as "superfluous." And when the school starts doing worse in math and science, the administrators and school boards are surprised.

Sort of a loaded discussion.  Sure, maybe they'll have lower language and science scores if you cut art programs - so instead of cutting arts, what do they cut?  Language and science?  It would seem like the answer to your argument is 'cut nothing' with regard to specific school curriculum.  This school was sort of lucky in that they could free up the security money.  Not every school has the luxury of neighborhood violence.  Weird.


Has there been any evidence that P.E. has helped shape anyone's lifestyle towards something more healthy?  And how that the number of positive experiences compare to the number of students who had a very negative experience?
 
2013-05-02 12:38:33 PM
Mime security guard:  no one getting through my invisible wall:

0.static.wix.com
 
2013-05-02 12:39:33 PM
At this swanky school we've secretly replaced the Armed Security Detail with Art Teachers  .  .  .  Let's see if anyone can tell the difference.
-later-
Well Tommy, what do you think?
 
2013-05-02 12:46:55 PM
Impossible.  Wouldn't work as a deterrent but as a catalyst.

Nobody would hesitate to shoot a mime.
 
2013-05-02 12:52:43 PM

Nana's Vibrator: This school was sort of lucky in that they could free up the security money.


So give all the schools money for security and discretion in how it's spent.  It appears this principal has improved security with teachers instead of guards.  Results are what count.
 
2013-05-02 12:53:17 PM

Nana's Vibrator: give me doughnuts: Schools with strong art and music programs have higher achievement levels in all subjects, but whenever there is a budget problem, they are the first to get cut as "superfluous." And when the school starts doing worse in math and science, the administrators and school boards are surprised.

Sort of a loaded discussion.  Sure, maybe they'll have lower language and science scores if you cut art programs - so instead of cutting arts, what do they cut?  Language and science?  It would seem like the answer to your argument is 'cut nothing' with regard to specific school curriculum.  This school was sort of lucky in that they could free up the security money.  Not every school has the luxury of neighborhood violence.  Weird.



Cut administrative overhead and the school and district level.

Or cut the DoD's budget, and shift all that into education  block-grants.
 
2013-05-02 12:59:48 PM
Boston SWAT teams are to be replaced by pottery instructors and mimes

Hey lets give it a shot. We all saw what inept fools those keystone kops are.
 
2013-05-02 01:09:41 PM

Nuclear Monk: Nana's Vibrator: give me doughnuts: Schools with strong art and music programs have higher achievement levels in all subjects, but whenever there is a budget problem, they are the first to get cut as "superfluous." And when the school starts doing worse in math and science, the administrators and school boards are surprised.

Sort of a loaded discussion.  Sure, maybe they'll have lower language and science scores if you cut art programs - so instead of cutting arts, what do they cut?  Language and science?  It would seem like the answer to your argument is 'cut nothing' with regard to specific school curriculum.  This school was sort of lucky in that they could free up the security money.  Not every school has the luxury of neighborhood violence.  Weird.

Has there been any evidence that P.E. has helped shape anyone's lifestyle towards something more healthy?  And how that the number of positive experiences compare to the number of students who had a very negative experience?


Someone obviously hated dodgeball...

GET HIM!
 
2013-05-02 01:09:53 PM
Nuclear Monk:
Has there been any evidence that P.E. has helped shape anyone's lifestyle towards something more healthy?  And how that the number of positive experiences compare to the number of students who had a very negative experience?

I don't know, man.  I'm sort of biased because I'm a former gym class hero and it's kind of funny to dunk on fat kids.
On a more serious note, gym class once or twice a week benefits no one, as opposed to, just as an example, a daily noncompetitive fitness routine - perhaps  tai chi - where your homeroom teacher leads the class through a simple 15 minute routine.
I really am heavily biased as I was very into sports and music and placed the better amount of my time and passion there as opposed to daily curriculum, so I'm not really the best person to ask when it comes to budget alignment.  My view as a parent on any of these categories is that if they're not getting enough of a category at school, I'll make sure they're getting it at home.
 
2013-05-02 01:15:42 PM

Whatthefark: [i39.tinypic.com image 300x168]


^This.

If we treat our students like animals, that's exactly how they'll behave!
 
2013-05-02 01:22:11 PM

Shostie: This may just be the cynic in me talking, but $1 says he also quietly "encouraged" problem students to seek their educational fortunes elsewhere.


That sounds like a typical way it works, but the article strongly implied that this was already the dumping ground those kids were sent to.  He would be spending even more time to send them back than to even discover a way to transfer the "prison guard" budget to the art budget, let alone make the whole thing work.
 
2013-05-02 01:39:47 PM

Barfmaker: Shostie: This may just be the cynic in me talking, but $1 says he also quietly "encouraged" problem students to seek their educational fortunes elsewhere.

The whole story reads like there's a whole lot more to the story. This was a piece that wanted to say one thing and it said that one thing. The reality is no doubt significantly more nuanced.


The school is 55% Latino http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/files/reportcards/orchardgardens_2 0 12reportonteachingandlearning.pdf
 and the rest black and a poor but not "bad" neighborhood from what I can find. Latino neighborhoods aren't statistically always underachieving, but often working takes presidence over learning.
 
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