Zero Tolerance by William Ayers
Resisting the Drive for Punishment

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Synopsis

A handbook for parents, students, educators, and citizens: a clear-eyed collection that takes aim at the replacement of teaching with punishment in America's schools. "Zero tolerance" began as a prohibition against guns, but it has quickly expanded into a frenzy of punishment and tougher disciplinary measures in American schools. Ironically, as this timely collection makes clear, recent research indicates that as schools adopt more zero tolerance policies they in fact become less safe, in part because the first casualties of these measures are the central, critical relationships between teacher and student and between school and community. Zero Tolerance assembles prominent educators and intellectuals, including the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Michelle Fine, and Patricia Williams, along with teachers, students, and community activists, to show that the vast majority of students expelled from schools under new disciplinary measures are sent home for nonviolent violations; that the rush to judge and punish disproportionately affects black and Latino children; and that the new disciplinary ethos is eroding constitutional protections of privacy, free speech, and due process. Sure to become the focus of controversy, Zero Tolerance presents a passionate, multifaceted argument against the militarization of our schools.

Topics include:
• Media and anti-youth policies
• Race, civil rights, and school discipline
• Student writing on zero tolerance
• Community agencies dealing with rehabilitation
• Zero tolerance and mentally ill students

 

About William Ayers

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William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society, where he taught courses in interpretive and qualitative research, urban school change, and teaching and the modern predicament. A graduate of the University of Michigan, the Bank Street College of Education, Bennington College, and Teachers College, Columbia University, Ayers has written extensively about social justice, democracy and education, the cultural contexts of schooling, and teaching as an essentially intellectual, ethical, and political enterprise. He is currently the vice-president of the curriculum studies division of the American Educational Research Association. Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Jeffrey Jones are former leaders of the Weather Underground. Dohrn teaches law and runs the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University Communication Arts & Sciences is a project at Berkeley High whose fundamental enterprise is to bring together teachers, students, and parents to create a learning community that nourishes and develops the whole student, with an emphasis on social justice, media literacy, communications skills, and communication technologies. CAS is built around thematic core curriculum focused on social justice and an experiential pedagogy. CAS is committed to creating a heterogeneous grouping of ethnicities and skill levels, and its goal is to make school more successful, especially for those who have not traditionally done well at Berkeley High.
 
Published November 1, 2001 by New Press, The. 263 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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