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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco School Board to tackle issue of overly disruptive students



If there's an issue that gets Pasco School Board vice chairman Allen Altman riled up, it's students who make it difficult for teachers to teach and classmates to learn.

"I am convinced that one of the major issues facing our schools and impacting our teachers, staff, other students and the learning environment is that small handful of students who refuse to follow very simple rules and have no intention of coming to school each day prepared to learn," Altman told the Gradebook. "I hesitate to call them students, because most of them have not shown any inclination to become students."

Altman has pressed for years to create somewhere else to send these children, whom he said number maybe five to ten per school, so they can get their act together or move on without disrupting the majority. He's gotten little action from the district, so he's prepared to try again this week.

During a Tuesday workshop, Altman plans to discuss what he deemed shocking and revealing statistics about discipline referrals, truancy and absenteeism. (We have requested but not seen the data.) Then he intends to urge his colleagues to set some clear priorities and deadlines for getting the troublemakers out of the classrooms.

"It is a very small number of students who are, based on what I am being told by classroom teachers and administrators, consume an inordinate amount of their time," Altman said. "I want us to look at alternatives for those kids."

We have heard for years teachers suggest that class size wouldn't be a major issue if they could handpick the students to remove from their rooms. Has Altman hit upon a major concern? What do you see in the schools?


[Last modified: Monday, October 31, 2011 12:03pm]


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