The NAACP believes that Anne Arundel County, Maryland, is suspending too many black students. Thus, according to the Baltimore Sun, the district has begun "training staff in how to work with people of different backgrounds," which means educating educators about the "occasional confrontational behavior that some African-Americans learn in their neighborhoods and use at school." Carlesa Finney, the county's director of equity assurance (yes, it's a job), noted that assistant principals, psychologists, and other administrators undergo two days of such training. And, whaddya know, fewer black students are now being sent to principals' offices (the black-student suspension rate hasn't changed, though). Ignoring poor behavior is not the same as correcting it. The best schools are generally those that take a "no excuses" attitude to discipline, that reject as nonsense the idea that black students, for example, should be held to different standards of conduct. Anne Arundel has turned this successful strategy on its head and is embracing the opposite, and wrong, approach to maintaining order in its classrooms.

"Schools Address Black Students' Suspensions," by Liz Bowie, Baltimore Sun, May 11, 2008

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