Even so, these are mostly sound essays illuminating how the media’s coverage of juvenile crime has led to blanket policies...

ZERO TOLERANCE

RESISTING THE DRIVE FOR PUNISHMENT IN OUR SCHOOLS

An analysis of the “zero tolerance” policies often implemented in today’s schools, and the ways these policies have disproportionately affected black and Latino students.

“Zero tolerance” initially meant that any student bringing a gun to school would be expelled for up to two years. In many schools, however, the policy has come to cover not only realistic replicas of firearms and knives, but objects that, by virtue of their shape or design, could cause any physical harm, or even give the appearance of being able to do so. It is this nebulous wording that has the editors worried. William Ayers (A Kind and Just Parent, 1997), Dohrn (director, Children and Family Justice Center/Northwestern Univ.), and Berkeley High School teacher Rick Ayers argue that the rates of school punishment for black students exceed rates for white students. Clear examples in support of their theory are periodically given: A white student in Vermont was neither suspended nor expelled for bringing a loaded shotgun to school, while an African-American student in Rhode Island was suspended for offering to dislodge a computer disk with a penknife. At other times, the authors’ rhetoric misses the mark: When six African-American students expelled for fighting try to return to their campus illegally, the situation is likened to “the 1957 placement of National Guard troops at Central High School in Little Rock.” One wishes the editors had declared zero tolerance for purple prose: “Tears moistened the principal’s eyes as she watched the axe fall on twelve-year-old Arturo, a student she had known since she first became the principal of the elementary school on Chicago’s South Side.”

Even so, these are mostly sound essays illuminating how the media’s coverage of juvenile crime has led to blanket policies that can make little sense.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56584-666-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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THE ABOLITION OF MAN

The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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Moving and motivating—a must-read for practicing professionals and would-be musicians.

STRINGS ATTACHED

ONE TOUGH TEACHER AND THE GIFT OF GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Inspirational lessons from the life of one tough teacher.

Today’s parents who lament their children stressing over tests may be horrified by the themes of tough love and tenacity offered by this biographical tribute to the late Jerry Kupchynsky, “Mr. K,” a gifted high school strings teacher from East Brunswick, N.J., whose exacting methods helped spawn the careers of generations of musicians and educators. Journalist Lipman and Kupchynsky, a violinist and Mr. K’s daughter, met as children when Mr. K joined his daughter’s exceptional talents on violin with Lipman’s on viola to form half of a string quartet that would also include Kupchynsky’s younger sister, whose disappearance decades later reunited the authors. The bond forged through the intensity of creating music is but one of the storylines running through this engrossing account of Mr. K’s life. Born in 1928 in the Ukraine, Mr. K endured a litany of wartime atrocities before immigrating to the United States as a refugee in 1946. But prior to fleeing to the U.S., it was the sound of a German soldier playing the violin that sparked his love for classical music. Surviving these early hardships helped instill in Mr. K an appreciation of adversity as a motivator, an unflagging belief in the value of hard work and a willingness to fight for the underdog. With a booming Ukrainian accent and “trim” mustache, Mr. K’s battle-ax demeanor and perfectionist drive struck both fear and a ferocious desire to succeed in the hearts of his pupils. One of his more unforgiving approaches involved singling out a section’s weakest player—“Who eez deaf in first violins?”—and forcing the guilty party to play alone with a stronger player until the weak one improved. While tactics like these may not have earned his students’ immediate devotion, they never forgot him and often found they could achieve more than they ever dreamed.

Moving and motivating—a must-read for practicing professionals and would-be musicians.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4013-2466-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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