Monday, August 07, 2006
Jetton: Disruptive students need to be removed from classrooms
In his latest capitol report, Speaker of the House Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, indicates efforts will be made in the next legislative session to help teachers remove disruptive students from classrooms.
As he points out, two or three disruptive students can keep an entire classroom from learning anything. Jetton says teachers need more protection in these circumstances, though he rightly points out teachers are responsible for discipline in their classrooms.
One thing that need to be considered is that the two or three disruptive students, students who come to school with no intention of learning anything, also have to succeed under "No Child Left Behind." Yet another example of why the federal law is a bad one.
This is what Rep. Jetton had to say:
Improving Education: Protecting Teachers and Improving Classroom Discipline
Last week, I talked about some exciting news concerning education funding. By putting an emphasis on creating jobs, jumpstarting Missouri's economy and spending tax dollars wisely, we have been able to increase state revenue.
Instead of billion dollar budget shortfalls, Missouri now has a modest $150 million budget surplus. We have used Missouri's new budget health to get more resources to our top priority--Missouri's schools.
In 2005, we crafted a new funding formula for Missouri's schools. It is a formula that dramatically increases education funding (over $800 Million new education dollars in its first 8 years of operation) but also ensures that each school gets their fair share.
The new formula also creates the Classroom Trust Fund that makes sure all of the gaming money that is supposed to go to education actually gets to the schools.
But we can never allow ourselves to fall into the mistaken belief that throwing money at education is the only way to help our students. That was the mentality of the past. It created an "always spend more" way of thinking that blinded us to more innovative ways of improving our schools.
Instead of just always spending more, we need to find a way to spend our dollars better. In other words, we need to find a way to get more "bang" for our education buck. If we don't, then we will never be able to spend enough to get our children they education they need.
One way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the education system is to focus on improving the classroom learning environment. When kids act up and misbehave they distract the other children who are there to learn.
All the money spent on getting those kids books, teachers and other equipment goes to waste if teachers cannot control their students. Classroom discipline problems waste time; the one resource government cannot give more of to anybody. We cannot let 2 or 3 disruptive kids keep the other 20 or so from learning.
While it is the teacher's job to handle classroom discipline, it is our job to make sure they have the tools and authority to get it done. In today's lawsuit happy society, many teachers are trapped. They want to provide appropriate classroom discipline but are afraid of getting sued by the parents if they remove a misbehaving child and all of our children suffer.
By increasing protection for teachers who do what is necessary and remove disruptive students from the classroom we will cut down on time wasted by distraction.
It is more than just the smart thing to do; it's the RIGHT thing to do. Our teachers spend each day on the front lines of the fight to get our children prepared for the real world. We owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be fully repaid. It is only right that we give them the protection they need to do this vital work.
As always, if you have any questions on this or any other issue, I can be reached at 573-751-5912 in my Jefferson City office, or through the mail at: Speaker Rod Jetton, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO, 65101. Also, you can reach me through email at email@example.com.