My habit of looking for bright people who can educate me brought me earlier this year to Andrew Gentile, an industrial electrical engineer who works all over North America but lives near me in Sheffield.
Andrew and I talked about power grid issues, but I learned that he also has a lot of ideas about improving education, centering on restoring discipline in public schools. I recommend his current commentary in Vermont Digger on that topic.
He writes “In accordance with school policy, when a student is sufficiently unruly, or deemed a potential hazard to others, instead of expulsion, the school provides a full-time, paid attendant to manage the student, costing the state at least $50,000 per year. Intensive instruction assistants, also known as one-on-ones, remain at the side of the disobedient student for the entire school day, including trips to the bathroom. It is not uncommon for a student to have an assistant for the entire school year. “
“Free lunches will not help Vermont’s academic performance but removing problem students will. If a student’s behavior is so bad that he needs a security detail assigned to him, he belongs somewhere else.”
“The removal of disruptive students will improve the classroom for teachers who are trying to teach, for the students who are trying to learn, and — assuming there are at least two in each school — will save over $146,000 annually per school.”
Thank you, Andrew Gentile.