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Randy Sprick's Safe & Civil Schools Newsletter

October 2006

Classroom Management that Doesn't Work?     «»     Results from the Field
School Effectiveness Research     «»     Upcoming Events


Classroom Management Models that Don't Work?

Considerations for the Building Administrator...

Some teachers like a non-research-based, punitive model of classroom management because it allows them to send a student out of class any time the student's behavior is bothersome. If such a model is in place in your school, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are students frequently missing out on instruction because they are being sent out of the classroom (to the office, the hall, or another classroom)?

  • Are the same "banished" students sent from the room over and over?

  • Are you committed to implementing research-based practices in your building?

If the answer to all three of these questions is yes, you need to provide leadership and change the classroom management model.

Initially, staff may not like the change. The present punitive model can be very reinforcing—teachers can get rid of their problem students any time they want.

However, if you are committed to instruction (and to raising test scores), removing students from class ensures only that they are not participating. Besides, if this procedure were effective, it would change behavior and would not have to be used with any degree of frequency because it would work. Since the answer to the second question above is yes, it must not be working.

Maybe it's time to find a classroom management model that does work!

Two primary considerations govern your choice of a classroom management approach.

First, it should be consistent with the findings of the best research (school and teacher effectiveness literature) as it relates to classroom management.

Second, it should provide plenty of "how-to" information. An administrator who tells teachers they need to have routines and procedures but does not provide the why and how is courting failure. By and large, teachers simply do not have the time to translate raw research into daily practice.

By selecting a model that incorporates these two criteria, you connect your teachers with specific, realistic steps they can take right now to improve classroom climate, and in so doing connect the dots between research findings, your vision for the school, and what's actually happening in classrooms.

—Excerpt from Coaching Classroom Management: A Toolkit for Administrators and Coaches by Randy Sprick, Jim Knight, Wendy Reineke, and Trisha McKale    Available early 2007!


Results from the Field

Safe & Civil Schools would like to congratulate several schools participating in our programs who have been profiled recently in the news media for their accomplishments!  Read all about it!

Hill Classical Middle School, California

On September 15th, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the winners of the National Blue Ribbon Award, presented annually to 250 schools nationwide who have demonstrated significant improvement in academic performance. Read about the Hill School Turnaround in the September 28 issue of the Grunion Gasette.

Woodlawn Elementary School, Florida

On September 20th, Isabel Mascareñas from Tampa Bay's 10 News interviewed Tina Angles (5th grade teacher at Woodlawn) and Susan Schilt (Pinellas County CHAMPs Coordinator) regarding their CHAMPs implementation and the difference it has made. Last year, Woodlawn piloted the CHAMPs program and since then referrals have dropped from 215 (August 2005) to 47 (August 2006). You can read the story at Tampa Bay's 10 News.

Taylor High School, Texas

On October 4th, Rachel McNeill from KPRC Houston interviewed Susan Isaacs (SCS consultant), Manette Shaller (Principal), and several students from Taylor regarding the difference that Safe & Civil Schools programs have made at their school. It was gratifying to hear from students at Taylor that they feel safe and secure, that they can communicate with the adults on campus, and that they can focus on learning.

We'd like to extend our congratulations and thanks to these students and school staffs—congratulations on the work you have done, and thanks for giving us the opportunity to work with you and for sharing your successes with us!


School Effectiveness Research

"Educators have become increasingly convinced that the characteristics of schools are important determinants of academic achievement."
—Ronald R. Edmonds

With this statement, taken from an Educational Leadership article that he wrote (December, 1982), Edmonds refutes the findings published in the 1966 report, "The Equal Educational Opportunity Survey," a study conducted by James Coleman that found that schools had little effect on the academic achievement of their students. This study incited furious debate on the effectiveness of U.S. schools—a debate, raging over 30 years, that has given rise to Effective Schools Research, a series of studies that have had a profound influence on current efforts to improve schools.

Dr. Lawrence W. Lezotte, a leading researcher on effective schools, has published a detailed history of the effective schools movement, titled Revolutionary and Evolutionary: The Effective Schools Movement, available at

You can read more about the "Coleman Report" and its findings on Wikipedia.

You can find more information about the characteristics of effective schools (collectively known as the Correlates of Effective Schools) on the website of the Association for Effective Schools, Inc.

Education Northwest has published a research synthesis of effective schooling practices, which delineates the characteristics of effective classrooms, schools, and districts as reflected in the most current research. This publication is available from Education Northwest as The Schooling Practices that Matter Most.


Mark your calendars for the 11th Annual Train the Trainer workshop July 14-19, 2007. New classes in Interventions, Coaching, and Highly Structured Classrooms will be offered. As plans finalize, we will announce them on our website. Stay in touch!


Randy Sprick, Jim Knight, and Tricia McKale will be speaking at the NSDC Conference in Nashville on Behavior Coaching: Practical Strategies Coaches Can Use to Improve Teachers' Classroom Management.

Their session will be held from 10am - 12pm Monday, December 4, 2006. Register online on the NSDC website.


Watch for the release of the new book, Coaching Classroom Management: A Toolkit for Administrators and Coaches by Randy Sprick, Jim Knight, Wendy Reineke, and Tricia McKale.


Randy Sprick and Safe & Civil Schools consultants continue to provide presentations across the country. Some of these include open registration. Registration may be limited and/or may involve a fee. Contact information is provided for each on our website.



At mid-term, the staff at Safe & Civil Schools wish you a productive and positive school year!

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