Have you ever wished you could be Joe Clark and turn a tough, unsafe, out of control, low-performing inner-city school into a safe and productive school? I don’t have to wish, because I have done what Joe Clark did at Eastville High School. One scene in the movie Lean On Me depicts Joe Clark and dozens of police removing the bad “element” from the school auditorium stage and the school. My story is different because I had minimal to no help from the school administration or police of the school. I am no superman, but I believe I have built a better mousetrap.

The old proverb of “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” does not apply to education. I have devised a school discipline plan that works and no one is beating down my door!

I first used this discipline plan at Austin High School (AHS) in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). AHS made national news two years prior when the students staged a walk-out. The walk-out was a protest about their school situation and problems in the school. Two years later, the school was again out of control and unsafe. At the time, I was the chairman of the School Discipline Committee, right in the middle of huge problems. These huge problems forced me to develop a school discipline system that is efficient and effective. I have titled the system  Lecture & Pester and the Proactive and Persistent School Discipline System. Using this Lecture & Pester techniques and the Proactive and Persistent School Discipline System, the school was made safe and calm. This process of becoming a safe, calm, and productive school was accomplished in weeks, not months or years.

In the spring of 1996, The Teachers’ Union, with the approval of HISD, transferred me from AHS to Deady Middle School (DMS) for one month. DMS was experiencing large fights called “rolling thunder” that started at one end of the school and traveled the hallways throughout the school. Many innocent students were being hurt. Graffiti covered every square inch of the walls in the boys’ restroom, from more than twelve feet off the floor. Students must have stood on each others’ shoulders for hours to create this art work. The teachers were even afraid to go to the parking lot by themselves. For many, DMS was a hopeless situation. Two weeks after I entered DMS and applied the Proactive & Persistent Discipline System, the school was safe and under control and I returned back to AHS. Unfortunately, no one learned the techniques of the school discipline system, and two years later, a student was stabbed in the ear with a screw driver and died in the hallways of DMS.

These out of control, unsafe, and unproductive schools exist in every city and state in America. Would you believe me or label me crazy if I said every school in America can be safer, under control, and much more productive two years from now? Would you believe that eight parents trained in the this discipline system could tame a school in weeks? How can 4-6 Assistant Principals bring a major school under control in two or three weeks? The use of my school discipline can produce such results.

America, here is the rough blueprint and philosophy behind my school discipline system. The beauty of this discipline system is that it adapts to all issues and problems, while striving for new higher discipline goals.

The driving power behind the school discipline plan is called Lecture and Pester. Lecture and Pester provides the unpleasant consequences that will change 99 out of 100 students’ behavior. Lecture and Pester is the process of

  • Asking questions
  • Solving problems
  • Preventing transfer of blame
  • Using manners
  • Showing respect
  • Accepting responsibility
  • Establishing goals
  • Establishing self discipline

A student who is capable of changing his behavior and becoming self-disciplined should be considered a good student.  Lecture & Pester turns 99%of the student body into good students. Some students take a little longer to become good students. Students that don’t change their behavior find each new encounter with Lecture & Pester more unpleasant and frustrating. There are few consequences more unpleasant to teenagers than to be questioned, lectured, and pestered by adults about their discipline problems, time after time.

Here is one Lecture and Pester scenario to help explain the process.

Lecturer and Pesterer (LP): Excuse me, sir? (manners) Why are you in the hallway after the bell? (problem)

Student (STU): I’m just late to class. (minimizing)

LP: Well sir, just being late is not good enough. Just being late is not good for you or the school. Just is not good enough. (higher expectations)

STU:  What is your problem? Why are you doing this? This school is no good. Look at all the other people in the hall. (transfer of blame and responsibility for problem)

LP:  Well sir, we have decided to try and make the school better (establishing goals.) The first thing we need is to get everyone into class on time (setting goals and appropriate behavior). I can see there are a lot of people in the halls. I will be catching up to them, but I stopped you and you are tardy to class (school goal-personal goal). Can you get to class on time? (beginning the self discipline process).

STU:  Yes.

LP:  Excuse me sir. Yes what? Yes sir? (establishing manners and mutual respect- developing adult control)

STU: Yes.

LP: Yes what?

STU: Yes sir.

LP:  Thank you. Are you telling me that you can do this by yourself? (establishing self discipline)

Stu: Yes sir.

LP:  Are you saying that your word is good? Are you saying that I won’t have to deal with you again? (establishing goals for self discipline)

STU:  Yes sir, my word is good. (becoming self disciplined and accepting responsibility)

LP:  Okay.Thank you, sir, now please get to class. Do you need help getting into your class?

STU: No sir.

LP:  Okay, good luck. If you need help getting into class come see me. (problem solver)

Lecture & Pester has an infinite number of scenarios, but follows the same basic process. Lecture & Pester will change teenage behaviors when delivered on a consistent basis.

The school discipline plan that delivers Lecture & Pester on a consistent basis is called the Proactive & Persistent School Discipline System. The combining of Proactive and Persistent Discipline with Lecture & Pester will change the bad behavior of 99% of the student body. With patience and increasing persistence the remaining 1% of the student population can also change their behavior.  Highly effective and efficient discipline is created using Lecture & Pester Processes with the Proactive & Persistent School Discipline Plan.

Steps to Setting Up a Proactive & Persistent Discipline Plan In a School

First, someone must identify and admit to having a discipline problem in the school. For example, the tardy problem is a big problem in many schools. Therefore, let us solve the tardy problem.

Second, a group of Hall Masters are taught the Lecture & Pester techniques and Proactive & Persistent discipline processes. They will go through a few hours of learning and then to the hallways for hands-on  job training.

For example, It is time to solve the tardy problem. First we must establish adult control of the hallways. The first steps in establishing adult control are to become the big dog and the big voice in the hallways. The next step is to make students aware of bell system of the school. Therefore, five minutes before the tardy bell, with a big voice and a big dog attitude, start a countdown to the tardy bell. “Let’s go, let’s go, break it up over there…get off the wall…let’s get to class…four minutes to the bell…hurry, hurry…close that locker…say goodbye to your girlfriend…we want a better school, three minutes to go.”  Hall Masters work the countdown to the tardy bell.The bell rings and immediately, Hall Masters go into the Lecture and Pester mode. Tardy students are walked to their class as they are Lectured and Pestered about their behavior. Hall Masters walk and talk and put students into classrooms until the hallways are clear. After the hallways are clear, the Hall Masters have a quick meeting to discuss problems and to develop a proactive plan for the next period.

First period ends and five minutes before the second period tardy bell rings, the process begins again. Students are more aware of an adult presence and control of the halls. The hallways are becoming less of a comfortable place to hang out in. Students are becoming aware of the bell system. The bell rings and students are Lectured and Pestered again.

First period took fifty minutes to clear the halls. Second period hallways were cleared in fourty five minutes. Every hour, every day, every week, every month the hallways become more controlled by adults. In less than a month the classroom doors close, the hallways are clear and controlled, and there is no tardy problem.

The tardy problem was solved without sending hoards of students to the AP office. The massive paperwork, detention lists, detention halls and teacher duty stations associated with other discipline systems were completely eliminated. How and why did the school tardy problem miraculously disappear?

First of all, there are consequences that change behavior. Teenagers hate to be questioned about their behavior. They get tired of trying to justifying their wrong behavior. Each time a student goes through the Lecture and Pester process, the process becomes more difficult. As a history of earlier truths, lies, half-truths, and facts are mixed into the Lecture and Pester process, students run out of arguments, excuses, and justifications for their wrong behavior. Students discover the only way to escape the Lecture and Pester process is to change their behavior.

Second, the Proactive and Persistent Discipline System is an extremely effective and efficient program when compared with other school discipline systems. The largest and most dangerous problems in the school are identified, attacked, and solved. This system does not wait in offices for problems to show up. The system puts time and numbers on the side of the adults in the school. We allow good students (99% to 100%) time to change. Most students don’t change the first time they are caught, they wait to see if you can catch them again. When students understand and feel the discipline system catching up to them, time after time, with a steadily increasing regularity, they change their behavior.

Gangs, disruptive groups, and misbehaving individuals feel more isolated and less powerful each period. As adult control is established, every adult in the school becomes more empowered and respected by the students.

Third, administrators and hall masters become problem solvers. If a  student has no first period, we take him to a counselor and find a first period for him. If a teacher dismisses a class two minutes after the bell everyday, we go to the teacher and solve the problem. If a student says a teacher will not let me into class, we will find a solution to this problem. By solving little problems, students become confident to bring big problems to your attention– problems such as there is a handgun in the school or there will be a fight after third period.

Finally, as 99% of the student body becomes self-disciplined, the 1% of students that will not change their behavior are run through the old school discipline system. Old school discipline becomes more efficient and effective as discipline consequences are handed out to students who will not change their behavior.

With this school discipline system, there are only thirty students in a student population of 3,000 that are being run through the old school discipline system. The 30 real discipline problems of the school are processed quickly, put into discipline programs for longer times, isolated to a greater degree, and they are not allowed to return until they agree to change their behavior. These 30 students become powerful and effective messengers, that being self-disciplined is a very good idea.

As a general rule, schools do not allow parents into the school to observe the hallways, cafeteria, or other operations of the school. Schools will cite a fear of safety to you or the students if you are in the halls. This may be true, but if they fear for your safety, why do they allow your child to walk the hallways? Perhaps, they fear more that you will see that the school is unsafe and out of control. The greater fear is that parents may realize the school has no real solutions for solving the problems in the school. The greatest fear is that parents may band together and demand a safe school. American schools are in desperate need of much greater parent involvement.

With the use of Lecture and Pester and the Proactive and Persistent Discipline Plan, parents can be invited into the school. Administrators, teachers, and parents can work together to solve problems. Parents working with administrators can walk good students to class.

A school with a large tardy problem and hundreds of students walking the hallways divides administrators and teachers. Administrators assign hundreds of hours of duty stations, in the hallways and entrances to the school. A faculty meeting is called and a plan for classroom detention halls and in class punishments for tardiness is thrust upon teachers. Next, large hall sweeps occur and offenders are herded into the cafeteria by the hundreds. What are the results of such actions? Students find the weak spots and blind spots in the hallway duty plan. Administrators have created a plan that allows transfer of blame for the problem to the teachers. If a problem occurs in a stair well, administrators check the duty roster and assign blame. The teachers feel they are being put into duty stations that threaten their physical well being. Teachers are put in duty stations with little power or back up to do the job. How would you feel if you are a young, 100-pound female assigned to a isolated, dark, third story stairwell? What can a teacher do when rival gangs suddenly appear and a large fight occurs? Probably, the most prudent action is to run for your life and get ready to accept the blame.

Next, the in-class detentions and punishments run their course. Teachers send tardy students to the AP’s office. Tardy students return to class, thrust the detention slip into the teacher’s face and laughs at the teacher. The teacher and the student know he is not going to detention. Everyone in the school knows the discipline system has slim to no chance of catching up to him.

As teachers, we blame administrators and call them bad, lazy, and jusy plain no good. Should we blame administrators when most are the hardest working people in the school? AP’s are trying to prevent the school from exploding. They are working major problems of gangs, weapons, threats, drugs, etc. while forty tardy problems are sent to their office every period.

All to often, teachers get a second slip of paper from the office. This note informs the teacher that too many tardy problems are coming from your classroom. Maybe, you have inadequate classroom management skills and teaching abilities which cause so many tardy problems. If more students are sent to the office, a teacher assessment will be scheduled to observe your classroom. This is a veiled threat of a bad assessment of teacher performance. Most, teachers understand that any student behavior in class can be interpreted many different ways. A bad observation is the first step in removing job security. Most teachers stop the referrals to the AP office.

Hallway sweeps are now occurring. A thousand students are swept into the cafeteria. All morning is wasted writing detention slips and compiling detention lists for Saturday detention hall. Saturday morning 200 students show up for detention hall. They are the good students. These good students ask “Where are all the students who are always late to class and constantly in the hallways?” The good students are frustrated and mad. Eight hundred students sit home smugly laughing at the school, administrators, and teachers. They know the school discipline system has little chance of catching up to them.

A downward cycle of less respect for the school, administrators, and teachers takes place. More and more discipline problems occur in the classroom and the school. The discipline problems get bigger and more dangerous. Every day the school sits on a powder keg and everyone prays it won’t explode. Then one day a Columbine keg of powder explodes.

These explosions lead to a loss of hope in schools, finger pointing, transfer of blame to different groups, and a general feeling of hopelessness in solving America’s school problems.

America’s school discipline problem and many other educational problems can be solved by using the Lecture and Pester process and the Proactive and Persistent School Discipline System. 99% of our schools can and will be safe and highly productive. 99% of our students will become self disciplined and educated. 99% of our administrators will become heroes in their schools. 99% of all teachers will become good teachers.

I believe  inner city schools can achieve and compete on the same level as suburban schools. I feel that billions of dollars that is wasted on poor discipline can one day be used to further educate students. And sometimes, I believe that I am the only one in America saying these things can happen. A lonely voice declaring there is a solution and a way to solve our educational problems. I hope that others will see the promise, truth, and hope this discipline system can bring to America.

Finally, I have faith in the competitive spirit of America’s Public Schools. If one school or one school district out performs another school or school district using this discipline system, the race to the top has truly started.

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Hands down, poor school discipline is the underlying cause of all our problems in education. If we solve the discipline problem, we will go a long way to fixing any problem in education.

If discipline is the real problem, how come we have not solved the problem? I believe it is because we can not solve a discipline problem that was created by the current school discipline programs and ways of thinking about discipline. We must think in new ways and create a new system of school discipline to solve our school discipline problems. What are some different way of looking at discipline problems in schools that may help solve school discipline problems?

The first step is to stop pointing fingers at each other. Our current discipline problems were not created by a lack of effort or desire by the different groups involved in education. Parents, students, teachers, and administrators in low-performing schools understand, desire and desperately want safe and well-disciplined schools.

One of the first things I do when I bring a school under control is not allow a transfer of responsibility to occur. A student tardy to class is not allowed to transfer the tardy problem to the school, teacher, other students, or any other factors. He or she had to admit to a problem then accept responsibility for the problem. Accepting responsibility for ones own behavior is the first step toward better behavior.

The same thing happens in the school system. The blame for poor discipline is transferred to other groups. We need to accept our own responsibility for the discipline problem and begin to solve the problem by working together.

After we have accepted responsibility and stop pointing fingers at each other we will discover a strange truth. The truth is we are not the problem. The real underlying problem is an ineffective and inefficient system of school discipline that does not work.

The second step to solving a discipline problem is to admit to having a discipline problem. Just as an alcoholic must admit to the problem, schools must admit to having a discipline problem. As one Houston ISD school board member said to me once,  ” If a school admitted to having a discipline problem, they might feel obligated to solving the problem.”  Without admitting to a problem, the problem will always be minimized.

I have been in schools where you could tell the bell was going to ring when the halls became less crowded. Everyone was returning to their classroom to pick up their books, go to their next class, and then walk the hallways all period. Hundreds of students at Austin High School attended two or three lunches a day. The assistant  principals offices were full from first bell to last bell. Graffiti covered the walls. All the restrooms, except for the ones by the cafeteria, were locked all day due to vandalism. As teachers, all of these problems were in plain sight. We averted our eyes and retreated to our areas of safety in our classrooms or offices. These behaviors occur because of the strange logic and politics of schools. The first one to admit to a problem will be blamed for the problem. After being blamed for the problem, the group pointing out the problem are the ones obligated to solve the problem. For example, teachers complain there are too many students tardy and not coming to class. Administrators will say teachers are not forceful enough and need more in class detentions and sanctions to solve the problem. The solution is more duty stations and hours in the hallways for teachers.

If administrators admit to a tardy and non-attendance problem, teachers will say they have constantly sent lists and students to the office and nothing changes. The problem is growing worse. Administrators need to be more forceful and put everyone into detention or expel them and that will solve the problem. Parents complain about the hallways and school safety. Teachers and administrators will say students are not being disciplined at home and come to school with no respect for authority, rules, or adults. Therefore, parents need to be more forceful and actively involved in their children lives. By not admitting to a problem the recovery process never occurs. As educators, we find ourselves in isolated groups blaming problems on everything and everyone else.

The final step is to identify the real problem. The real problem is we cannot see the discipline problem for all the discipline problems in the way. The huge problems we have in our schools are created by our inadequate school discipline systems. America can solve problems with school financing, dropouts, achievement, etc. by fixing our school discipline systems.

I make these statements because I have brought schools under control. I have made schools safe using my discipline system. By myself, within two months, there was no tardy problem. The school was gaining 20,000 extra hours of students in class per month. Average daily attendance went up several points. Test scores went way up that year. The AP offices, instead of having 20-40 problems every hour, had 2 -5 students per hour.

My successes at Austin H.S. and Deady M.S. changed the way I look at school discipline and schools. Low-performing schools can become high-performing schools. Out of control schools can change into safe and friendly schools.

The epiphany moment came when I realized present day school discipline systems are creating huge problems. These huge problems cause us to blame others, not admit to problems, argue with each other, and not co-operate with each other. These huge problems get in the way of seeing the underlying cause of the problems. The underlying cause for school problems is a discipline system that has poor consequences for bad behavior combined with an ineffective and inefficient school discipline system.

At one point, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on the Morning Joe Show on NBC. He was talking with Mika and Joe about education. Mayor Bloomberg stated that a major problem with education was the tenure of teachers, which protected bad teachers and that the unions were involved by being protectors of bad teachers.

Mayor Bloomberg’s statements have grains of sand truth to them. There are bad teachers protected by the union. As co-steward of a school’s teachers union, I was uncomfortable standing up for a teacher who was doing a poor job. On the other hand, Mayor Bloomberg’s statements  have a beach full of misunderstandings of low-performing schools and the teachers in these schools. The truth of the matter is that the mayor is not the only person with perceptions that are often misguided. Many others think if we get rid of bad teachers and close low-performing schools the problems of our schools will be solved. However, in my experience as a teacher in an inner-city school, closing low-performing schools and firing bad teachers will not solve the problem. The two factors are products of bad discipline within our schools.

In order to solve this problem, it will require a new paradigm on how to handle discipline and how we look at low-performing teachers, schools, and school districts.

As a teacher, chairman of the discipline committee, and co-steward  of the school’s teacher union, I have different thoughts about good teachers and bad teachers. As I attempted to recruit teachers for the union, a constant repeated argument was, ” I will not join the union because the union protects and supports bad teachers.”  These teachers had a list of the usual suspects. One name on that list was Ms. Grouchy.

Ms. Grouchy was in her 60’s and close to retiring. She was quiet, polite, and unassuming in her manner. Her dress was professional yet simple. Her classroom was an isolated room in a dark corner of the first floor. This room was surrounded by two stairwells and a men’s restroom. Ms. Grouchy kept a low profile. She was known in the teacher’s lounge, but talked mainly to old friends or trusted colleges. As I gained knowledge from my teaching experiences, from discussions of the discipline committee and Shared Decision Making Committee, and from resolving conflicts as a co- steward of the union, a truth emerged. Ms Grouchy was one of the solid rock foundations of Austin High School.

Ms. Grouchy was an English teacher. Her classes were made up of the most academically challenged students. Students were placed in her classes with every type of educational label. Also placed in her classes: probational students from the juvenile criminal system. Discipline exchanges between schools ended up in her classes. She also had many gang members in her classes.

As I talked with students in my classes, a different picture emerged of Ms. Grouchy. “Ms. Grouchy gave me money to buy me lunch.” “Ms. Grouchy shared her sandwich with me.” “Ms. Grouchy found a winter jacket for me.”  “Ms. Grouchy convinced me to stay in school.”  The list of accomplishments by Ms. Grouchy was large and varied.

Another aspect of Ms. Grouchy influence became clear to me as I implemented my school discipline plan. I rarely encountered students from Ms. Grouchy’s class being tardy or walking the hallways. Students for honors classes, magnet programs, and principal’s pet teacher show classes were everywhere in the hallways and recesses of the school. A teacher with the lowest performing students, problem students, and probationary students had good discipline in her class. How could this teacher be considered to be a bad teacher?

These injustices occur when teacher performance and value are based on test scores and rankings.

Ms. Grouchy’s value and successes would not be honored by the school. Most likely she never earned teacher of the month let alone teacher of the year honors.

Honors classes, magnet classes, and pet programs are established to create  success. Teachers of these classes are the ones who generally get the accolades and awards. These same teachers are usually the most vocal critics of the union and our support of bad teachers. If these same critics had to teach Ms. Grouchy’s classes, most would soon be labeled low-performing, bad teachers. The superior discipline techniques many elite teachers smugly tout would be of little use in Ms. Grouchy type classes. How good would they be without a class of selected high performers (honors)? How long would they rate superior without the ability to say ‘no’ to who can be in their program? How long would they last without the ability to remove a non-achiever or discipline problem from their class?

We need a change in thinking about who is working hard, who is successful, and who has discipline in their classes. First, all teachers work hard and many low-performing teachers work harder than many honors teachers. Second, successful teaching is not just test scores but also the art of inspiring, directing, and helping students overcome their problems. Third,  ineffective school discipline systems are the underlying causes of the bad teacher and low-performing school problems. The combination of ineffective consequences with inefficient school discipline systems create bad teachers and low-performing schools. I believe that 95-98% of bad teachers can become good teachers with a good discipline system in their school.

The same attitudes and prejudices exists between high-performing schools and low-performing schools within a school district and between different school districts.

Austin High School  was a consistently low-performing school in the 1990’s. Superintendent Dr. Paige paid a visit to the school. This is the same Dr. Paige who would become the education czar under President George Bush. He indicated that Austin High School must change its low-performing status in two years. If Austin High School was still low performing in two years, he was going to transfer every teacher to different schools throughout Houston ISD. The stigma of being an absorbed teacher from a low-performing school was in our future

I did not have the courage that day to present Dr. Paige with a different plan of action. I believed an alternative plan of action should have been to  switch teaching staffs between Lamar High School and Austin High School. Lamar High School  is a high-performing school next to the affluent River Oaks area. All the different variables such as class size, money allocated for programs, demographics, etc. would remain the same. After two years we could see what a difference the high-performing good teachers from Lamar had made at Austin. The Austin teaching staff would have the opportunity to teach in a well funded school, with great facilities, and to a student body with focused successful attitudes.

My predictions for the future was that the Austin High School staff would fare well and would become a high-performing staff and that the Lamar High School staff would become low-performing. Additionally, many of the Lamar staff would leave teaching, leave the district, or transfer to other schools. Discipline issues, frustration, lack of success, lack of resources and money, and fear for their own safety and lives would drive them away. Hopefully, the greatest results would be an attitude shift in how the faculty of both schools looked at the issue of low-performing schools. The Lamar staff would understand and appreciate the hard work and issues low performing schools and teachers face every day. The Austin staff would learn and understand they have great successes every day, and that they are very valuable to America.

Today, I believe teachers are the same in exemplary and low-performing schools. The percentage of good teachers and bad teachers is the same in both schools. My thinking and way of looking at teachers is based on the success of my effective school discipline plan. When I first ventured into the hallways of Austin HS to get the hallways under control, around 80-90% of students were tardy to class every period. Between 40-60% percent of students did not go to class or attended part of a class. Hundreds of students walked the hallways throughout the school day. I thought if I could get 80% of students into class that it would be successful. After implementing my school discipline plan, 99% percent of students were good students because they could change their behavior. The hallways were clear and there was no tardy problem. My thinking and perception of bad students changed. These bad students were the results of poor discipline in our schools. The same conclusion should be made about bad teachers. They are the results and effects of poor school discipline systems. Therefore, if we fix the discipline in our schools, we will go a long way to solving the bad teacher and low-performing school problems.

Everyone knows that we must do something to improve our schools.  There is so much yelling, screaming, and argument about public education. Administrators, teachers, parents, and students are frustrated and anxious about the safety, achievement level, and money needed for good education.

As parents, teachers, and administrators we all want the same thing. We want the best education for our children. As a discipline committee, and chairman of the discipline committee, we argued for weeks about education and the problems of our school. The first discovery made by the discipline committee was no other school problems could be solved without good school discipline. Solve the school discipline problem and problems of dropouts, attendance, bullies, and achievement disappear. Every school problem has at its core a discipline problem. If we solve the discipline problem in our schools, we will solve the money problems of our school systems. Billions of dollars are wasted on poor school discipline.

The second discovery of the discipline committee  was we needed a definition of discipline. As a committee we argued about discipline for weeks. We argued about all the problems of the school: violence, drop out rates, tardiness, bullies, poor achievement levels, etc. In truth, we were arguing about the effects of poor discipline. Our country is doing much of the same thing as the school discipline committee did at Austin High School. We all knew where we wanted to go and we all know what discipline should look like, felt like, and should be. We never solved any problems until we came up with a definition of discipline.  The definition of discipline I now use is:

discipline: a set of consequences for bad behavior, often unpleasant, that will make an individual change his/her behavior. The ultimate goal of discipline is to become self-disciplined.

Contained within this definition of discipline is the reason and solution for all our school problems. Our schools don’t have effective consequences for bad behavior. Too many students don’t change their behavior. Hard working teachers, parents, and administrators are overwhelmed with ever-increasing numbers of discipline problems. The problems of our education system is not caused by a shortage of hard-working, dedicated, and professional administrators and teachers. We, as a society, are left with arguing over the effects of bad discipline.

The second major problem in our schools is an ineffective and inefficient system of administering school discipline. The consequences that are intact in public schools now are ineffective and do little to solve the problem of discipline. School personnel are burdened with a system of office visits, paperwork, and record keeping that overwhelms everyone involved. The combining of an ineffective and inefficient school discipline system with consequences that don’t change behavior lead to Columbine-type situations.

There are thousands of schools in the U.S. with huge discipline problems. This leads to a third huge problem. A problem solving strategy of denial, blaming others, or minimizing the problem of discipline within a school. These strategies indicate a lack of success with the current discipline systems and set of consequences available to school personal.

I am starting this blog to change the way we look at school discipline. I know how to establish an effective and efficient school discipline system that combines a set of consequences, which I call Lecture and Pester, that changes student behavior and will quickly allow our schools to succeed.

Please help me in this process of changing the way we look at educational problems and how to solve these problems. I will continue to be blogging about different issues and solutions that will transform our public education system.