On Top of the News
Inside Educators’ Emotional Debate about ‘No Excuses’ Discipline
Chalkbeat New York | 3/8/2016
Behind the Headline
What Explains Success at Success Academy
Education Next | Summer 2015
In a long, thoughtful piece for Chalkbeat New York, Elizabeth Green looks “beyond the viral video” of a Success Academy teacher shaming a first-grade student to consider the pros and cons of the No Excuses approach to discipline and learning.
On one side of that debate: educators and parents who argue that the no-excuses approach is not only defensible, but the only way to solve racial and class inequities in schools and beyond. These people grant that the no-excuses style has imperfections; indeed, moments like the distressing reprimand captured in the video of Dial make it very much a work in progress. But they say the strong academic results of “no excuses” schools prove that the model only needs evolving, not fundamental change.
On the other side: An equally passionate group arguing that no-excuses practices are systematically abusive and a form of institutional racism, undermining any academic gains they may enable. These critics are not just speculators. They include people who have taught and still do teach at no-excuses schools.
In the end, Green concludes (spoiler alert!) that the No Excuses approach needs to be overhauled, but that ” if there is one group of schools that have shown they have what it takes to help teachers learn and change over time, it’s the high-performing charter schools founded in a no-excuses approach.”
In “What Explains Success at Success Academy,” Charles Sahm took a close look at what is being taught in Success Academy schools and how.
— Education Next