Tagged: school

The School-to-Prison Pipeline and the Minority Educational Gap

In a recent Sociology Lens post, Markus Gerke detailed the problem associated with President Obama’s rhetoric of individual responsibility for increasing opportunities for Latino and Black men. One component to President Obama’s initiative is to increase educational opportunities for these populations and Gerke correctly notes that the focus on individual responsibility ignores the structural barriers that limit these populations. Research suggests that a major factor in the educational achievement gap is the presence of the school-to-prison pipeline and the punishment...

How not to talk about Gender and Education – Is the 'Boys Crisis' in Education a Reality?

In her latest piece for the Atlantic, Christina Hoff Sommers – author of “The War against Boys” – continues to make the case that boys are losing out in education, are being disadvantaged by schools that supposedly cater exclusively to girls and are thus in need of remedial help in order to catch up to girls educationally. Arguments like hers are still going strong in public discourse, although a vast amount of research has shown the situation to be much...

Part II: The Effects of School Criminalization

A few weeks back, I contributed a post highlighting possible explanations for the rise of criminal justice based practices within schools.  Although these strategies have become popular for managing school crime, growing evidence suggests they are often overly excessive and may produce a host of unintended consequences. Serving as a sort of a Part II, this essay outlines the effects of what has been termed the “criminalization of school discipline” (Hirschfield & Celinscka 2011). As discussed below, the evidence stands...

Explanations of Contemporary School Discipline

Over the past two decades, schools across the U.S. have adopted a host of punitive practices and policies to prevent and respond to student misbehavior (Kupchik 2010). These practices include the use of security cameras, metal detectors, drug-sniffing dogs, and the full-time presence of police officers. Consequentially, the distinction between school discipline and criminal justice has become highly blurred. For a host of reasons, there has been an increase in surveillance over students and a tighter link between the education...

No Child Left Behind…But what about programs?

There can be little doubt that schools across the nation have experience notable budget cuts since the recent economic fallout. Without protection from larger economic trails, educational systems have had to manage substantial budget cuts and reductions in available resources. Across different media platforms, new articles are peppered with headlines concerning the myriad of challenges schools are now facing. Despite financial tightening and limited avenues for support, it is clear that school performance has not escaped popular attention. With initiatives...

Facing More with Less: Thinking about School Budgets

There can be little doubt that because of the current economic conditions, a large part of society has undergone considerable strain. Whether discussing unemployment rates, downsizing, closed up businesses, or market trends, it seems that little has been left unaffected by these financial times. Of concern for this post is how schools, specifically secondary schools, have had to adapt to and deal with the economic state. Often making top news reports on major broadcasting stations or making the front-page of...

Contradictory Trends Influencing School Operations: A Case of Cell Phones

In 2010, MSNBC published an article written by Alex Johnson entitled “Some schools rethink bans on cell phones: Bans don’t work, so administrators explore using mobile devices”. In the report, Johnson notes that 100 plus students were suspended – not for cheating, smoking, or bullying – but for having cell phones. While presented here as merely an anecdote, there can little doubt that the use of cell phones, and mobile technology more generally, is an issue that has caught the...

Ten Years Later: Three Academic Perspectives on the Columbine Massacre

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_lBgaUpmu4] by NickieWild A decade after teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students, one teacher, and wounded 23 at their high school in Colorado, academic writers in different fields still debate the source of their rage. Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters by Langman is a new book offering a psychological evaluation of the incident, which argues that sociocultural factors have been overemphasized. He writes that certain children are predisposed to violence through schizophrenia or...

The German Democratic Republic: ‘A Social Paradise’?

by paulabowles It has recently been noted that there appears to be ‘an increasing sense of nostalgia for communism’ among many Germans. Although, this may in part be connected to wider global financial concerns, this on its own does not explain the attraction for many younger people. Indeed, it is suggested that many of these were born after Germany’s reunification, with no experience of the reality of living under communism. In an effort to tackle these concerns, the East German...