To start off the class, I worked on my reading skills for 30 minutes. The practice I was able to accomplish was based on Act 2, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet. I was able to successfully answer the questions with no difficulty.
Project 2 question: Will uniforms really make a difference in MPS?
Anti- uniform vs. Pro-uniform
Help prevent gangs from forming on campus
Help students resist peer pressure to buy trendy clothes
Help identify intruders in the school
Diminish economic and social barriers between students
Increase a sense of belonging and school pride
Violate a student’s right to freedom of expression
Are simply a Band-Aid on the issue of school violence
Make students a target for bullies from other schools
Are a financial burden for poor families
Are an unfair additional expense for parents who pay taxes for a free public education
Are difficult to enforce in public schools
What’s a dress code?
Generally, dress codes are much less restrictive than uniform policies. Sometimes, however, dress codes are nearly as strict, as in the case of a middle school in Napa, California. This particular school’s dress code required students to wear solid colors and banned images or logos on clothes. When a student was sent to detention for wearing socks adorned with the image of Winnie-the-Pooh’s friend Tigger, the girl’s family sued the school district for violating her freedom of speech. In August of 2007, the district announced it would relax its dress code – for the time being – to allow images and fabrics other than solid colors. The district superintendent, while admitting that banning images on clothes raises concerns about the restriction of political and religious speech, announced his intention to move soon toward implementing uniforms in the district.
Video of the different view points: http://www.today.com/video/are-school-uniforms-helping-or-hindering-43255875628
PRO- School uniforms keep students focused on their education, not their clothes. A bulletin published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals stated that “When all students are wearing the same outfit, they are less concerned about how they look and how they fit in with their peers; thus, they can concentrate on their schoolwork.”
CON- School uniforms promote conformity over individuality. At a time when schools are encouraging an appreciation of diversity, enforcing standardized dress sends a contradictory message.
PRO- School uniforms create a level playing field among students, reducing peer pressure and bullying. When all students are dressed alike, competition between students over clothing choices and the teasing of those who are dressed in less expensive or less fashionable outfits can be eliminated. In a 2013 survey by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and uniform manufacturer Lands’ End, 86% of school leaders said uniforms make “a significant, positive impact on peer pressure,” and 64% said uniforms reduce bullying.
CON-School uniforms do not stop bullying and may increase violent attacks. Tony Volk, PhD, Associate Professor at Brock University, stated, “Overall, there is no evidence in bullying literature that supports a reduction in violence due to school uniforms.” 2007 peer-reviewed study found that “school uniforms increased the average number of assaults by about 14 [per year] in the most violent schools.” A 1999 Texas Southern University study found that school discipline incidents rose by about 12% after the introduction of uniforms. According to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Office of Education Evaluation and Management, fights in middle schools nearly doubled within one year of introducing mandatory uniforms.
PRO- Wearing uniforms enhances school pride, unity, and community spirit. A 2007 study from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom found that uniforms “often directly contributed to a feeling of school pride.”
CON-School uniforms do not improve attendance, academic preparedness, or exam results. David L. Brunsma, PhD, Professor of Sociology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), co-authored a study that analyzed a national sample of 10th graders and found “no effects of uniforms on absenteeism, behavioral problems (fights, suspensions, etc.), or substance use on campus” and “no effects” on “pro-school attitudes, academic preparedness, and peer attitudes toward school.” Brunsma also found a “negative effect of uniforms on academic achievement,” and later found that uniforms were equally ineffective on elementary students and eighth graders. A 2009 peer-reviewed study found “no significant effects of school uniforms on performance on second grade reading and mathematics examinations, as well as on 10th-grade reading, mathematics, science, and history examinations… [I]n many of the specifications, the results are actually negative.”
PRO- School uniforms may improve attendance and discipline. A 2010 study by researchers at the University of Houston found that the average absence rate for girls in middle and high school decreased by 7% after the introduction of uniforms. The study also found that “behavioral problems shift[ed] towards less severe infractions.”
CON- The key findings used to tout the benefits of uniforms are questionable. The oft-quoted improvements to school safety and student behavior in the Long Beach (CA) Unified School District from 1993-1995 may not have resulted from the introduction of school uniforms. The study in which the findings were published cautioned that “it is not clear that these results are entirely attributable to the uniform policy” and suggests that the introduction of new school security measures made at the same time may have been partly responsible. Other reform efforts implemented alongside the uniform policy included a $1 million project to develop alternative teaching strategies.
PRO- Uniform policies save valuable class time because they are easier to enforce than a standard dress code.
CON- School uniforms emphasize the socio-economic divisions they are supposed to eliminate. Most public schools with uniform policies are in poor neighborhoods, emphasizing the class distinctions that uniforms were supposed to eliminate. In 2013, while 47% of high-poverty public schools required school uniforms, only 6% of low-poverty public schools required them, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
PRO- School uniforms prevent the display of gang colors and insignia. The US Department of Education’s Manual on School Uniforms stated that uniform policies can “prevent gang members from wearing gang colors and insignia at school” in order to “encourage a safe environment.”
CON- Students oppose school uniforms. A 2012 peer-reviewed study by researchers at the University of Nevada at Reno found that 90% of seventh and eighth grade public school students did not like wearing uniforms. A 2007 survey of Harford County, MD public school students found that 87.9% of the students were opposed to uniforms. In the year following the introduction of mandatory school uniforms to the Long Beach (CA) Unified School District, 81% of middle school students said uniforms did not reduce fights, 76% said they did not help them fit in at school, 69% said they did not make them feel more connected with the school community, and 71% said they felt no safer traveling to and from school.
PRO- School uniforms make getting ready for school easier, which can improve punctuality.
CON- Uniforms may have a detrimental effect on students’ self-image. When students have to wear the same outfits, rather than being allowed to select clothes that suit their body types, they can suffer embarrassment at school. Child and teen development specialist Robyn Silverman told NBC News’ Today that students, especially girls, tend to compare how each other looks in their uniforms: “As a body image expert, I hear from students all the time that they feel it allows for a lot of comparison… So if you have a body that’s a plus-size body, a curvier body, a very tall body, a very short body, those girls often feel that they don’t look their best.”
PRO- School uniforms can save parents money.
CON- Focusing on uniforms takes attention away from finding genuine solutions to problems in education. Spending time and effort implementing uniform policies may detract from more effective efforts to reduce crime in schools and boost student performance. More substantive improvements to public education could be achieved with smaller class sizes, tightened security, increased parental involvement, improved facilities, and other measures.
PRO- Most parents and educators support mandatory school uniforms.
CON- The push for school uniforms is driven by commercial interests rather than educational ones. Americans spend around $1 billion on school uniforms every year. Retailer J.C. Penney Co. says school uniforms are “a huge, important business for us.”
PRO- Students’ legal right to free expression remains intact even with mandatory school uniforms.
CON- Parents should be free to choose their children’s clothes without government interference.
PRO- Students dressed in uniform are better perceived by teachers and peers. A 1994 peer-reviewed study found that students in uniform were perceived by teachers and fellow students as being more academically proficient than students in regular clothes. The study also found that students in uniform were perceived by peers and teachers as having higher academic potential, and perceived by peers as being better behaved.
CON- School uniforms in public schools undermine the promise of a free education by imposing an extra expense on families.
PRO- Students can express their individuality in school uniforms by introducing variations and adding accessories
CON- School uniforms may delay the transition into adulthood. Adults make their own clothing choices and have the freedom to express themselves through their appearance. Denying children and teenagers the opportunity to make those choices may make them ill-prepared for the adult world.
Poverty information!: http://www.city-data.com/poverty/poverty-Milwaukee-Wisconsin.html
Here is what you need to know about the new MPS “Uniforms and Student Dress Code” policy.
- The policy goes into effect at the start of the 2017-18 school year.
- The policy applies to all MPS schools.
- The policy does not apply to summer school and the new, so-called “J-Term” summer credit recovery program.
- The policy underwent a number of changes, which you can see in this document, which scores out an earlier draft.
- The policy imposes “Basic Uniform Guidelines,” which can be read here. Those directives include things like “Full-length pants, cropped pants, cargo pants and straight-legged capri pants are permitted. Denim jeans, pedal pushers and bell bottoms are not permitted.”
- Schools will “design” their own uniforms based on these guidelines.
- School principals are charged with finding the lowest-cost uniforms for their schools.
- Economically disadvantaged students will get financial help to buy uniforms.
- Parents will be informed of each school’s uniform policy at least three months before the first day of school (Sept. 5, 2017 for traditional calendar schools).
- Schools may opt out of the uniform policy if at least 66 percent of the school community opposes it.
- Schools have until April 1 to opt out for the upcoming school year.
- Parents and guardians may exempt their child from the policy without penalty of any kind.
- Speaking of penalties, there are none for non-compliance: “The school and its staff shall ensure that no student is penalized academically or otherwise discriminated against because the student’s parent or guardian has chosen to exempt the student from complying with the uniform policy. Likewise, violation of the school uniform policy shall not affect a student’s academic or conduct grade or participation in extra-curricular activities.”