Brashear & discipline
What I remember from my time teaching at Brashear High School was suppression of information and lack of transparency. The administration's only concern was numbers. “Show me the data” was its mantra when queried about anything. Years of unanswered questions from teachers about lax student discipline enforcement, beginning in 2009, preceded the shootings of Brashear students.
Students mocked teachers issuing disciplinary referrals. One student told me that “we have juice in the office.” Obviously, the administration wanted to see fewer discipline referrals, detentions and suspensions.
Questions abound. How does a school go from 583 reported incidents of disorderly conduct in 2009-10 to zero in 2012-13 (“Judge wants DA's office to investigate incident that led to shooting outside Brashear High School,” Nov. 16 and TribLIVE.com), especially when students were assaulted or robbed? Were grades skewed to reflect better achievement? Are teachers threatened about talking to the media? If so, why?
Finally, do Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators and principals receive bonuses or funding from the federal or state governments for reporting improvements in discipline, attendance, academics and graduation rates?
Maybe District Judge James A. Motznik was right when he said, “I understand (the district) wants incident report numbers to come down, but selective prosecution is not a way to do that.” Besides, selective education and discipline concerning any student(s) is discriminatory and illegal.
Nobel laureate economist Ronald Coase said it best: “(I)f you torture the data enough, nature will always confess.”
The writer is a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Appalling advice
- LCB: Asset to modernize
- Incumbents’ edge?
- Gas drilling near neighborhoods
- Protesters not law-abiding
- Right on race
- Leechburg lip dub
- PNC: New roles for helpers