18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2004
If there is, it suits this book. An absolute must read, eye opener for anyone entering the profession of teaching. For those of us who have been there and done that, who have felt the craziness creeping closer everyday as we viewed one failed plan after another trumpeted in and wheeled out, for those of us who believed we were the only ones who saw what was happening, who were disparagingly called "Old School", who sometimes felt totally alone wondering if we were the ones who were crazy, treat yourself to this book and enjoy a wonderful balm and tonic as you immerse yourself in some long needed support.
This book should have been dedicated to all of us who ever wondered what happened to the joy of teaching, and who have hung in there hoping someone would listen to us as we fought to bring it back. Judging School Discipline should be required reading for every administrator, school board member, policy maker, and politician, as well as everyone in our legal system.
To the authors I can only say "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Perhaps your book will help decision makers finally realize they have been dancing us around a camp fire of futility, and also enlighten them to the fact they can not avoid the real problem by trying to reinvent the wheel of education.
TEACHERS, GRAB THIS BOOK.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2014
Arum's piece is full of correlative claims asserted as causal relationships. It ignores the deeper and more complex social, political, and economic dynamics during the key period of Arum's study. Instead, it boils the question of changes in school discipline down to the courts. This is a limited reading.
Arum also takes at face value notions like "order," "discipline," and "misbehavior." But these are not simple ideas. They are socially constructed and are strongly informed by the politics and culture of the moment. The narrative of the "breakdown in discipline" in public schools became salient in the 1970s and 1980s in connection with other anxieties many Americans were feeling in a rapidly-changing world.
1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2009
Arum's critique of the court system being utilizing for student redress is more than troubling in light of the extreme abuse of authority that takes place in every public school in America. The threat of lawsuit is the only potential avenue for justice for most youth. Since recent court rulings have come increasingly closer to defining minors as property, the implication of being denied access to courts pushes American society to the brink of forging a new form of slavery. Arum might be noble in his rejection of Zero Tolerance (which hardly is a profound insight), but with the "get tough" spirit that pervades schools and society, it is much more likely that children will be barred from fighting injustices in courts long before they will be afforded respect or leniency in school. Arum unwittingly has a produced fodder for fascists who will embrace his complaints, which would only apply in an ideal society.
This portion is an amendment to my initial complaint and that is the fact that Arum's analysis is fundamentally flawed. Cases that he considers to be student victories are, in fact, not. Just because the plaintiff prevails, does not mean that the ruling was a victory especially when school employees are granted qualified immunity. As such, Arum would claim that a student victory occurred in Safford v Redding where a teenage girl was strip searched for pain medication and that was ruled a violation of her rights; however, no damages were awarded due to qualified immunity and the court intimated that if the school officials were looking for illegal substances, perhaps the strip search would be permissible. Since the search was instigated on hearsay, school officials only need to claim they are looking for marijuana when they want to strip search kids. What a victory! More appalling is considering Tinker v Des Moines a victory when that case is cited for most restrictions placed on student rights. The content all of the supposed student victories completely undermines Arum's research.
I suspect the low rating of my critique is founded on the sick minds of people who despise children and convey those sentiments in some kind of "get tough" posture. The rest are the incompetent teachers who rely on discipline as opposed to earning respect through competency. I am happy to have loathsome people like that object to my comments.