There has been a lot of hand-wringing in the local press about the state of the Madison Metropolitan School District, particularly around behavior. In particular, the behavior education plan implemented over the last several years — intended to reduce exclusionary practices and use a more progressive approach to discipline — has come under fire for essentially allowing a permissive, low-consequence environment that affects learning as well as staff morale.
I read these with interest — my two children attend MMSD schools, as do many of my patients. I have a strong interest in environments that promote and support quality learning, not disruption and chaos. At the same time, I’m all too aware of the disparities in opportunity and achievement that exist. It is not lost on me that almost every child I see clinically at Dane County Juvenile Detention is African-American — and so many of them intelligent and insightful. The lost potential — and the concomitant loss of societal benefit — haunts me.
To read the full article written by Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, FAAP, is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and also holds master’s degrees in public health and children’s librarianship. Engaged in primary care pediatrics, early literacy, medical education, and advocacy, he covers a variety of topics related to the health and well-being of children and families - click HERE