Milwaukee Public Schools will begin its scaling down of actual education in its schools in order to better reproduce the criminal justice system its students are preparing themselves for. The latest budget has job losses in all areas except for social workers, psychologists, safety assistants, and nurses. Teachers will be teaching more students for more hours with less help, but the plan is for the psychologists and social workers to convince students to behave better. If that doesn’t work, of course, the safety assistants are specially trained to subdue students without the use of plastic handcuffs, pepper spray, or knowledge of martial arts by saying things like, “Don’t you make me get up out this desk!” If the safety assistants are useless, the nurses can offer ice packs for black eyes.
The goal of hiring more people in the health and human services fields rather than education is simple: no one is getting an education, so at least MPS wants to give students a familiar start to a life of crime. Said an MPS spokeswoman, “Our students get into a lot of trouble and they also fail a lot of tests. We decided that trying to teach them how not to get into trouble was actually more important than teaching them how to do well on tests, because the only tests most of these kids will be taking after high school involve only positive or negative results.”
Some disagree with the plan to cut spending for regular classroom teachers and aides, as many elementary school teachers are purportedly teaching entire days straight with no relief from aides or music, gym, or art classes, and 35 children to teach. Jane Dewey, an elementary school teacher, said, “Most parents can’t handle one or two children, and I’m expected to teach 35 all day long while we hire more security, social workers, and psychologists to tell me the kids are misbehaving. I can pretty much look around the room and figure that one out, and I can find out their parents don’t give a rip when two of the 35 come in for conferences. Voila—no social workers or psychologists needed for that one.”
A positive result of hiring staff that is also represented in the criminal justice system is that if students do get into trouble as adults, they will be prepared for a life in prison. “Of course we don’t wish jail time on any of our kids,” said an MPS psychologist, “but we do feel they will certainly perform better in prison than students from other districts because of all the practice we offer them. This is potentially huge, as months if not years can be shaved off a sentence because of good behavior.” A number of administrators at central office are very excited about the possibility of MPS students excelling over students from other districts, even if it is during incarceration. The use of plastic handcuffs, though recently voted down, will likely come up again, as well as a proposal to add gates with bars at various places in the halls and in some classrooms. Orange uniforms are on the agenda in the near future, as well, as MPS looks forward to a day when people won’t be able to tell the difference between Waupun Prison and Washington High.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 September 2012 23:34