Monday, February 20, 2012

Clayton Academy article

From the PG:


Dave Atkinson said...

I really didn't like this picture. When I looked at the picture, I thought the young women were handcuffed. When I read the caption, I realized it was students in a school. Did anyone else notice this?

Questioner said...

It is very disturbing. Who would want their child depicted that way?

The picture does undercut claims that the PG clears what it publishes w/ PPS in advance.

Anonymous said...

I envision new rules soon -- I'm kind of amazed they even included a picture with faces visible.

You can easily take a picture at, say the assembly described, where you only see the backs of heads and the faces of adults.

Interesting that after 4 years they seem to have finally hit on a better formula in the 5th year.

What are the changes made that increased attendance and seems to have made the school less chaotic?

-- not trying to run two single gender schools in one building

-- shorter periods with more electives

-- having other students help identify inappropriate behavior and reinforce proper behavior


Using the school as reformulated rather than the Achievement Center makes a lot of sense. Is the Achievement Center still a half day?!

Anonymous said...

I think this is a case of PPS getting "positive" information out there to justify spending more money on Clayton. The vote is, after all, this week. Notice everything sounded good - no mention of any bad things at the school. And former PPS employee, Howard Bullard, is still there. Like Judy Johnston, he received a nice post retirement gig.

Clayton never did enroll the number of students it was supposed to. How do we justify the amount of our tax dollars spent on this?

I also thought the picture was in very poor taste. It looked like Schuman Center instead of a school.

Anonymous said...

Does is still apply that students with an IEP are not admitted to CAMS/Clayton due to school code or state law? Expanding the discipline issues that get a kid to Clayton (drugs, weapons, etc) would therefore mean the Achievement Center gets the kids with IEPs, correct? I am not saying we do not need each, just want to know how the price tags impact the reporting of PPS' per pupil costs.

Anonymous said...

They should retract the picture-they do look like they are handcuffed. Very bad public relations job. They should be fired for depicting underage students like that.

With today’s media this is horrible. That pic is harmful to the students in it. Aren’t parents supposed to sign an exit form for their children to be photographed? Call a lawyer parents of students-this is real disturbing.

Questioner said...

At the beginning of the year there is a release form- most parents trust schools to act responsibly and sign the form.

For years to come (forever?), prospective employers, etc. searching these young womens' names are likely to pull up this picture. The PG needs to purge the photo and apologize to the students involved.

Photo aside, is a procedure requiring students to walk with their hands behind their backs acceptable?

Anonymous said...

Most parents do sign a form at the beginning of the year to allow or not allow photographs of their children to be used.

In general, maybe 2 or 3 out of a class of 25 will not have permission. I have to assume that all kids shown in that picture have a signed release.

I do wonder if the picture was the PGs way of adding a little reality to the positive story they were handed? I'd also not be surprised to see it removed from the website.

Seems very likely that yes, this positive story was put out there to encourage voting for this program again. And, while it may not be a great assignment for these kids, they are likely learning at least as much if not more than they did being disruptive enough to be sent there. Their former classmates have likely also seen an increase in instructional time and time on task.

The idea of the school isn't my problem, the funding, staffing and running of the school is the concern.

1 (maybe) good year out of 5 is a change, but is it yet a trend?

Anonymous said...

Think about walking that way with hands folded in back-a student can cause less physical harm. Yes, it mimics wearing handcuffs.

Parents or guardians should be concerned. Fire PR. This damaging to the students forever.Were Parental forms signed??

Anonymous said...

The picture alone is more than enough to see why this program should be DISCONTINUED right now!

What kind of a human philosophy could support such tactics for the management and control of young people?

Dear Heaven! What are we coming to in PPS?

Anonymous said...

How is it that the clayton contract is allowed to be assumed by another business with out the districts say so?

Its time for all these kids to come back to their home school and simply put support services in the school to work with the students. it will save money and close a school and get rid of another greedy contract from a outsider.

Randall Taylor said...

CEP is not needed. The District could move those small amount of students back to the Option Center. 2 million could be saved. I am amazed that schools facing cuts are not asking about 20 million spent to serve a small amount of students. CEP has never lived up to its billing. I thought for sure it would be one of the first things cut. The staff of CEP thought they would be out soon. Very Sad.

Anonymous said...

But the reality is-- IF these students could possibly be dealt with in schools-- they would be-- if school is going to happoen-- withgout constant disruption-- some place is needed for these students-- how would you feel if day after day nothing was done about criminal behavior-- please talk to your children about exactly how bad things are in some places. The offenses are serious.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sound like he was suggesting that they be placed back in the classroom, but instead that the PPS run a program the size of the school (which is far smaller than anticipated) in a setting they already have?

Anonymous said...

I was not troubled by the photo. It reminded me of the step dancers or hip-hop dancers I see in parades dancing in unison, acting very much like a team. Have students complained about it? They have the right to do so, of course, but does anyone else qualify to suggest the practice be changed?

Questioner said...

Line dancers or hip hop dancers would normally be smiling. If the students had been smiling rather than looking resigned, the effect would have been less prison-like.

Anonymous said...

It's the picture that I object to rather than the practice.

I honestly have no problem with the line walking rules. My only concern is that it doesn't sound like there's a "phasing out" process.

What does a kid who is used to walking in a small group, single file, silent, hands behind back going to react to heading back into a regular high school's hallways? I'd like to see something that moves from enforced control to learning to practice self-control in a more ordinary/chaotic setting.

Anonymous said...

" but does anyone else qualify to suggest the practice be changed?"

"Anyone else qualify?" Who is it that you deem "qualified" to do this in the first place? Is this a "prison" or "juvenile detention center" or preparation for such?

Do you really believe that this is the best way to help young people grow into caring, loving, responsible human beings?

SR like Skinner and his rats, huh? Lord have mercy!

(Yet, it fits right into the prevailing 341 methodology.)

Questioner said...

Students do seem happy there now...

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:30, I was merely suggesting that we hear what the kids in the building/program think of the practices.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the "kids in the building" are being programmed; don't you see it in the photo?

What do the kids think? They think what they are programmed to think or there are consequences. Or else: it would appear!

Anonymous said...

I find I can think whatever I please, whether my hands are folded, in my pockets, or behind my back.

It's rather the beauty of thinking.

Anonymous said...

That's great. The same is true for all who are free. Given the photo and their situation, these children would seem to be in a less than free environment.

If they were truly "free" to think (and act on their own thinking), I wonder if they would be in this photo and situation.

Wonder what you would be thinking, 4:46, if you were in the photo and situation? "Beauty of thinking."

Anonymous said...

I don't find asking children to walk quietly in halls or fold hands or sit quietly for reasonable amounts of time to be onerous. In fact, self control is linked with all sorts of later success in life. There are many children in our schools who have very little self control, to a point that some even scare themselves.

Students aren't sent to Clayton for high spirits nor general apathy. They aren't sent there because they don't do homework. They go there because they actively and consistently disrupted the schools they were in. Multiple fights, yelling, slamming doors, attacking kids for no reason, etc. They would have had behavior plans written for them -- with rewards for a period or two periods of behavior conducive to learning, in hopes that could be stretched to longer. Parents would have been called in over and over for meetings. Those same parents agreed to the placement. Many parents report problems even worse than those teachers see.

So, while I find the picture inappropriate for the paper, I can't say that the positive things the kids are saying are wrong -- just the increase in attendance noted is a huge, measurable change.

The description of how it used to be also bothers me. The fact that they had 4 90-minute periods a day, with no specials and electives? That I find very counterproductive and can't believe they did it for four years.

I'm certainly glad they switched that to something more appropriate developmentally for these kids and gave them opportunities to do something but sit in a classroom.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the assumption here is that nothing could be done in their former schools. The schools were perfect, but the kids were problems, problems that couldn't be solved by professional educators.

If they are successful at Clayton, they should have been successful at their former schools.

The problems here are always assumed to be the children, never the former school environment.

The situation here is revealing about both children and schools. The assumptions that you glean from this make a statement about those post here. reflection.

Questioner said...

Comments posted by one person or several people don't make a statement about all of those who post here. There is practically nothing that all of those who post here agree on! In general- explaining what the statement that you find in the comments would lead to a better discussion.

Anonymous said...

Clayton is a soft prison and the kids are treated as such. Its a bad situation that needs to be corrected before its too late and a kid snaps.

anon858 said...

Only somebody who workds in the building or is a current student there can make a statement as 12:40 just did. If all I know is from the newspapers or tv or from hearing a parent distraught 3 years ago at what her kid's experience was at Clayton then I would be grossly underqualified to use a term like "soft prison" today.

Anonymous said...

Clayton's contract was extended for two additional years at last night's Legislative Meeting.

Anonymous said...

This place is a joke .the needed good pr so lets go in to hat hat pull out a school and try to make it look good. No one knos what goes on behind close doors I do .its crazy in that building from fights to drugs . Staff threats every day..they have private security( not pps security ) those guys are a joke .they try harder to be ther friend then to do there job .so Dr lane stop the bs we know what goes on in that school and so do you.