February 21st, 2012
Chicago School Draws Scrutiny Over Student Fines For Disciplinary Infrac
By TAMMY WEBBER
A sense of order and decorum prevails at Noble Street College Prep as students move quickly through a hallway adorned with banners from dozens of colleges. Everyone wears a school polo shirt neatly tucked into khaki trousers. There’s plenty of chatter but no jostling, no cellphones and no dawdling.
The reason, administrators say, is that students have learned there is a price to pay – literally – for breaking even the smallest rules.
Noble Network of Charter Schools charges students at its 10 Chicago high schools $5 for detentions stemming from infractions that include chewing gum and having untied shoelaces. Last school year it collected almost $190,000 in discipline “fees” from detentions and behavior classes – a policy drawing fire from some parents, advocacy groups and education experts.