Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is Getting “Tough” with the Public Schools the Answer?

Everyone loves justice in the affairs of another -- Italian Proverb

Bullies in the schools? Get tough on the bullies!
Low student achievement? Get tough on the teachers!
General chaos in the school building? Get tough on the principal!
Students have a bad attitude? Get tough on the kids, all of ‘em!

We seldom hear:
Get tough on the parents!
Get tough on the School Board!
Get tough on the local (State, federal) politicians!

Why not?
And what is “getting tough” supposed to mean anyway?

Perhaps we prefer the more refined, less “confrontational,” version: “Hold … accountable” For example, “Hold the parents accountable!”

And what does this accountability mean when it comes as well to bullies, students, teachers, principals, school boards, and politicians?

And who is to do it? On what authority?

And whom can we trust to do it right?

To examine these issues further, see Power in Schooling Practice:
The Educational Dilemmas



  1. I'm not sure I like the tone of the article. Does the language support dialogue for being agents of change? It is not about being tough but getting smart with a heart.

  2. Is getting tough with the public schools the answer? No, it is not! The question is meant to be answered ironically!