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November 16 2010 at 5:10 PM
American Way 

I thought this was an appropriate time with their change to start a new thread. We know very little about Renee so much is left to the imagination (50). Here's to you Renee. Kick a ginger day. happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif American Way

Kick a Ginger Day

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November 16 2010, 9:01 PM 

Hi American Way. A new thread is probably a good idea, but I'd have put a link to the new thread from the old thread straight away to keep everything linked up. In a month or two they'll be miles apart in the index.

Here are links to:

Renee (TWP Editor)

Thank You Prof. N.

November 18 2010, 10:11 PM 

Hello Prof. N.:

Thank you so much for alerting me to the existence of TWP III! I truly did not know what was going on. The link to TWP III from TEACHERSWHOPADDLE has replaced the prior one to TWP II.

Here is an interesting although dubious quote from Jestin.

"As to your claim concerning graduation rates, you brought up a good point. Youre right, there is no
direct correlation between the two, but there is an indirect correlationIf school corporal punishment is so good for children, schools which use this form of, loving discipline often would be clustered towards to top.
Unfortunately, the highest state that uses corporal punishment more than 1,000 times is Missouri. Schools towards the top either have banned corporal punishment all together or have numbers that demonstrate little
to no corporal punishment activity. On the contrary, when this form of punishment is administrated and administrated often, such states are clumped towards to bottom. Thats a huge telling when a form of punishment
is suppose to set children on the, straight and narrow, but, in reality,it causes children to be put behind. As for your claim concerning Georgias graduation rate, I would advise reading this article that calls out Georgias dishonest formula in reporting graduation rates.
My suggestion, before stating stats, look up whether such facts are honest or not. For argument sake, lets throw out the graduation rate angle into the wash as being inconclusive, you still are in a deep hole because you have to still answer the question: What about the studies that all point to such harmful side effects of corporal punishment."

Is it dishonest spin? What do y'all think?

All the Best,



November 20 2010, 5:58 PM 

Hi Renee, You say :

Is it dishonest spin? What do y'all think?

Well I'd better declare an interest here. When embarking on my senior management career, one of my first responsibilities was for the direction of the University Technical Support teams ( basically stats , computer timetabling , electronic registry , audit teams and performance monitoring). My immediate boss, a Pro Vice Chancellor, was a no nonsense sort of guy with a career that spanned being a Colonel in the marines, then running a military college for officer training, and his hobby was coaching rugby at County level, and previously with his beloved Marines. His idea of preparing for a tough meeting was to go get a haircut! You didn't trifle with him, believe me ! .

Anyway he asked me to reorganize this provision , and in so doing we developed a department headed by a very bright lady with a first in social science and a PhD in statistics. We gave it the Acronym EDMU- external data manipulation unit .....need I say more! happy.gif. It's job of course was to use every trick in the book and hopefully a few that weren't to 'sanitize ' our public returns. and thus present the best possible results and interpretations.

I soon learned that there isn't a chart, table or government return that , with judicious selection and definition of the data , combined with appropriate manipulation can't me made to demonstrate that that down is really up is and negative really just a big positive provided you view it through the right kaleidoscope .

So to turn to Jestin !

My suggestion, before stating stats, look up whether such facts are honest or not

Like many of THSH's statements , laudable intention, but not very worldly wise.All statistical commentary in social reality is a political process. every test , every marker you chose has a political raison d'etre. There is nothing of pure science about public figures. In education we all do out best to suppress the reporting of drop outs , failures etc....every institution puts on its best face, and when you get to comparing long time line statistics, like paddling numbers, remember the baseline frequently changes, and how the instructions are interpreted is a problem . I've mentioned before there is excellent literature to suggest that the numbers of reported paddling in Texas in the 70's in some areas was 50% shy of the truth. Why? Because loads of high schools just didn't count paddling outside the classroom , and 50% or mare were administered in those days on the spot by the supervising teacher... mostly 2, 3 but even some 5 licks, but never recorded formally,,,,,

Things are more sophisticated today, but the ability to conceal is still there. In a some cases also frank incompetence plays a part , how many public statistics don't add up or balance correctly?

There are no absolutes in social sciences, its not like counting the acid bottles in a chemistry laboratory a finite task.In education management , although they may not admit this in University classes , a good 60% is in 'refining' and the presentation and packaging of a school. You can take a pretty ordinary animal and make it extraordinary with a few wizz kids refining your registry stats, and a professional presentational package. We are all at the leading edge of something .....and no ones going to call you a center of excellence or a beacon , unless you shout it from the rooftops.....and dont hide it under a bushel....and then there IS space under that bushel for those pesky little areas where we are not leading.

Education management and indeed public sector management is largely about perception and presentation, helping to set the agenda to your own liking, and staking your mark as a 'leading' institution.

Actually its a bit hypocritical isn't it ? We expect honesty and straightforwardness from our students , but when it comes management statistics, every table and chart has its own agenda! so play up play up and play the game .

Jestin , if you think those figures will PROVE anything ,.....sorry......because causality, artificiality let alone the mishmash of causal inference,probability and relative frequency , as utilized in these social settings are grossly inappropriate and can be downright misleading.They are techniques that work only in a given theoretical paradigm : and the minimum conditions of sufficiency are just not present with any governmental social statistics.

You never prove anything from such a mangled base !

All statistics in the setting of society are just politics written as numbers!

kind regards


American Way


November 20 2010, 6:15 PM 

Liars lie and figures lie. You figure?



November 21 2010, 4:32 PM 

And it appears that statistics aren't the extent of 'massaged' images in schools at least, in England.Teachers have known for years disruptive pupils can, during an inspection be bussed off on day trips, asked to stay away, allowed to truant without sanction..............because with them in class it is impossible to deliver an OFSTED assessed good or better lesson!

I've even known university teachers , especially in applied subjects like engineering , where students are often hard to come by, give beer money to certain students to stay away from practical class on inspection days

Do you blame them? Their pay and promotion depend on this type of artificial exercise?

Renee, does this ever happen in the States?

Notice the guy who defends OFSTED and says it doesn't happen .....doesn't teach!


Bob T


November 21 2010, 9:16 PM 

I have quoted this before and it reduces prof n.s' preface to a few sentences. Mark Twain once wrote " There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damn lies, and statistics".

Alan Turing

Red rag to a bull

November 21 2010, 9:27 PM 

Come on now, Bob T -- you know as well as I do that Statistics (with aa capital S) is a perfectly respectable mathematically-based science. The trouble is that most people who quote statistics -- namely, summary data purporting to tell you something about a collection of stuff in the real world -- don't understand Statistics. That means they have no idea how reliable their statistics are, and so they draw all sorts of unwarranted conclusions.

I once tried giving Lotta Nonsense a tutorial about confidence intervals using the binomial distribution when sampling from a large population. She either didn't, or couldn't, understand what I was talking about.



Re: Red rag to a bull

November 21 2010, 10:40 PM 

And for those who would like to learn from a Mathematician how to use Statistics properly, here is the thread wherein the above mentioned fabled exchange between my distinguished fellow contributor Alan Turing and the Forum's sadly missed former Sceptic-in-Chief Lotta Nonsense took place. Read and learn! Oh, and you'll need to be aware that Mr Turing was at that time writing under the name of his alter-ego Einstein.

Lotta's response to Mr Turing's initial post in the above thread is a masterpiece of how to misuse statistics. But then, in fairness, two years earlier she did give a much more favourable response to one of Mr Turing's contributions which was very directly on topic for this estimable Forum, the subject of which is briefly mentioned at the end of said Statistics initial post. I think Lotta felt much more confident with real school CP than she did with numbers, and I have always envied him the ringing endorsement she gave to his account on that occasion.

Renee (TWP Editor)

Meaningful Question

November 22 2010, 12:43 AM 

Hello Prof. N.:

Interesting question You asked:"disruptive pupils can, during an inspection be bussed off on day trips, asked to stay away, allowed to truant without sanction" and "Renee, does this ever happen in the States?"

Officially, no -It does not. As least as far as I know. My district sets all student field trips in advance of student assessment tests and since we started evaluating teachers more often -It is nearly impossible to "ditch for a day" a "problem" student. But the latter is not impossible although unethical.

FYI: In a graduate class, I heard the story of a school system chief superintendent and his teacher-wife "cooking the scores" of their state achievement test about a decade ago. Both were terminated but ended up working in another state.

Best Wishes,



November 23 2010, 1:01 AM 

Hi Renee ,

You say :-

Officially, no -It does not. As least as far as I know. My district sets all student field trips in advance of student assessment tests and since we started evaluating teachers more often -It is nearly impossible to "ditch for a day" a "problem" student. But the latter is not impossible although unethical.

Unethical maybe : unfortunately my first experience of education management, although I admit is was higher education (university) taught me there was ethical management , and managing to be first ....AND Having described my boss I think you can guess which he prizes for being second or for playing within the rules : second is loser! everyone wants a winning team , ans as to how you win....well just don't get caught , that's all!! As he said if you don't want to play , you don't have to be on the team....after all survival isn't compulsory!

Now I don't subscribe to that myself : there are little things called moral judgment, duty of care, and responsibility , pesky little things ! However , I must say the majority of Vice Chancellors(Presidents/Provosts) of the leading /Universities would agree with him and smile at me ! Perhaps our system is a little more ruthless, I don't know !

So education management always gives me a problem, of how you set goals and how you measure success, in that university it was brutally simple ,one goal , just focus and play to win....then bring home the cup !!!!

I hope when I moved on I was a little more sophisticated as a leader than that !

Best wishes,



Bob T


November 24 2010, 12:44 PM 

I have been looking for TWP's last post but it isn't there. I suppose the holiday got in the way. Of course they still have until the end of today before they are late with their homework. I think we all remember the penalty for that. Ouch!

American Way


November 24 2010, 4:09 PM 

Bob T: It may be worthwhile to dip into TWP II Red Linked Big Letters at the beginning of this thread to understand the delay including my prior entry of one of their last paddling account. For convenience I copied & pasted. What was your reaction to that paddling in italics considering the guidelines promoted and the practice over two years..

Hello Bob T.:

Hate to disappoint you but I'm still kicking! (HA HA HA) Whats more -TEACHERSWHOPADDLE Weblog is not going anywhere. It will remain in place although, with help from wordpress, I will change it around so the oldest post is first and the last post in last -in the archives. So, TWP WILL continue to exist -There just will not be any more post added after #112.

And little ol' me? This ESTEEMED FORUM hasn't heard the last from "Renee, the red headed petite middle school assistant principal!"

Not by a long shot!

I might even start my own network54 thread!

Can you just hear the "Rev." hitting the floor? (HA HA)

Best Wishes,

p.s.: A better song in tribute to the "finish" of TWP would be U2's song "Walk" -Because the four of us walk away with a sense of having contributed something meaningful to a cultural debate that was way to nasty a couple years ago.
Re: TWP II October 12 2010, 12:29 AM

September 19, 2008

How do you make a distinction between an abusive paddling and an appropriate one?
First, we encourage our readers to review IMPLEMENTS and TECHNIQUES which sets a foundation for answering this question. In addition, there is the immediate effect and the longer term considerations. The immediate effect should be a sharp sting that subsides almost as soon as student is returned to the classroom. This is the most important principle of our blog: The paddling must be limited to short and temporal physical pain (a shock) and a longer psychological effect (getting their attention and changing behavior). Where TWP differs with old school pro-paddlers is that the paddling must NOT have longer term residual effects- physical or psychological. For the physical (only a small part), there must be absolutely NO bruising or marks of any kind. This is why we only endorse lighter and thinner paddles. A good rule of thumb is: If child is paddled at 10:00 a.m., then if parent comes to the school at 3:00 p.m. and visually checks for bruising- there should be NO BRUISING FOUND other than a little pinkness- at the most. We at TWP call this the 10-3 rule. As to psychological effects- keep in mind that, as teachers, we still have to educate the child for the rest of the day and school year. So the second principle is that the teacher must reassure the child that he/she is not their enemy and that he/she hated to paddle them as much as they did receiving it. Another must is repeating the reason why the paddling occurred in a calm, reasoned voice. This applies to before carrying out a paddling as well as after: As the authority figure, the teacher must be in control of their temper at all times- ANGER IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE! Sometimes, it may be best to talk to the child later in the day when both sides have cooled off. You readers would be amazed how a few words make a HUGE difference to a child like Lets put this behind us or No hard feeling,o.k.Lets make a fresh start (I prefer this one- Michelle was the originator)I have never observed any child that I have paddled to have negative resentment towards me or any other teacher after I have reassured them.

October 9, 2010

Dennis had already been warned NOT to bother Meg but after what he said this time -I felt like a volcano erupting.
After getting our classes in their rooms, I got my 16 x 3 1/2 x 1/4 paddle out that was made for one purpose -Just Desserts! Jenny was going to do the honors but while he was her student, I insisted that since my student was the offended party, I should.
Normally, I wish to be anywhere but in this situation but this time -A conference room paddling was something I really wanted to dish out. And no half-hearted swats either. Those 5 swats were full strength and meant to sting intensely.
As a tearful Dennis turned around to face me -I was unsympathetic. I bluntly told Dennis, If you EVER harass Meg againOr anyone else for that matterIll double dose what I just gave you! As Dennis headed back towards Jennys classroom wiping his tears, Jenny kinda looked at me askance and fanned herself. She also whispered, 5 is the max, Michelle!

Renee (TWP Editor)


November 25 2010, 4:36 AM 

Hello y'all:

Don't fret! TWP's last post has been published -All 4,000+ words! The best for last!

A.W.: Hey, I understand that the paddling Michelle gave Dennis wasn't "love taps" but it wasn't abusive either. Why? Because we have never used heavy or thick paddles. The sting for Dennis was intense but besides some redness -I'm sure there was NO bruising!

Time for my beauty rest -Gotta lot of driving to do on the family Thanksgiving Day road trip!

Everyone have a great Thanksgiving!


Bob T


November 25 2010, 5:51 AM 

AW; If you read their blog it says there will be one more post. Second, I have already commented about the October 09 paddling.



November 26 2010, 1:07 AM 

Hi Renee,

See your 'last post ' for TWP is now up . Job well done, but I may be prejudiced !

Don't know if you've seen this link

But it is interesting.

Firstly the fact that the DA is invoked speaks volumes to those who claim the south never acts on abuse. Moreover , whilst I won't support the coach , who should comply with school board procedures , I was more astounded by the comments of the newspaper readers.

OK I know its not the New York Times, or even the 'Onion' but really to 'wade' in ( wonder why I chose that descriptor?) with a diatribe on racism ( the event was black coach: black student) I can't see, unless we have a gross attack of false consciousness! Or slavery for that matter.

The issue about cp being banned in the district but some parents permitting it .....that's an odd one . Have you ever heard this before?

Anyway a curiosity.

Let me take this opportunity to offer you ladies, and the rest of our American friends, a joyous and peaceful thanksgiving .

And .....for when you get bored here is a genuine North Eastern Thanksgiving song.....well one week near Thanksgiving I clean forgot ( ok didn't do) my guitar practice , and it showed, so my American friend gave me this piece of sheet music and said learn it all - by heart- for next week ....but she was grinning at the time ...well it was 'old' when I was young, but here's the ENTIRE piece , the 40th anniversary version by Arlo Guthrie himself, together with the original film when the family and kids get on you nerves, switch this on and see how quickly it winds you up!!!!!!Of course there's only on Thanksgiving song of this magnitude.....Alice's Restaurant with our without a red VW microbus ...... ( and after all that it's not even what the restaurant was called !!!).But enjoy 750,000 have already !!!

WARNING this isn't just a song ....its an 18 minute song .....

Renee (TWP Editor)

Meaningful Question/Update

November 28 2010, 11:46 PM 

Hello Prof. N. and y'all:

We in the education have a name for educators who violate school policy such as district bans on school c.p.

That name is "real estate salesperson" or "insurance salesperson". The reason: Because said educator will be looking for another line of employment. Both tags I gave work on a sales commission too!

Update to all: Family and I are back from seeing my parents over the 4-day weekend. All went well and got to see young nephews and nieces on my visit.

Interesting story: I took a short break from unpacking and getting dinner prepared to toss a frisbee in the backyard with several of the little kids and my Tyler. They all know about my being an assistant principal and are in awe of that. (I think I'm there favorite aunt too!) Well, one eight year old niece tatled on her six year old brother saying "Bobby got a spanking...Bobby got a spanking!" as she giggled. Little Bobby shyly confessed that his kindergarten swatted him once for "kicking during playtime". Bobby then pleaded for me not to tell his mom which I agreed as long as he promised to try to behave better in the future. Bobby agreed while making a grossly exaggerated swing with the frisbee as though it was a paddle but then boasting "It didn't hurt!"

All I could do what roll my eyes as I headed back in to start setting tables for dinner. Bobby had been swatted a few weeks earlier and actually seemed to be PROUD of telling me about it. Well, in a way, I am rather glad my nieces and nephews are not attending school in my district -If I were a teacher or principal over them, it would be difficult.

Let me know what Y'all think.

Best Wishes,

Renee (TWP Editor)


November 29 2010, 8:20 PM 

Hello y'all (again):

I wish I had proof read that last post...I boo booed! After "kindergarten" should be the word "teacher"! Get out the "wet noodle" as they say around the U.S.!

Another Update: Last week, I responded to a question by Prof. N. about "cheating on test scores by administrators". Well, right afterwards, a report came out that the head of Atlanta, Georgia City Public Schools will be leaving at the end of the school year for alleged "test score cheating." Well, this lady will NOT have to worry about getting paddled for sure: Atlanta City Schools dropped c.p. about 20 years ago.

All the Best,



November 30 2010, 1:07 AM 

Hi Renee,

Two interesting issues :

On the issue of teachers teaching their own kids and close relatives, interestingly in England it happens a lot. In many independent schools a 'perk' of employment is that your children are educated free , saving sometimes between ten and thirty thousand pounds per child per year...a big perk .

Strangely I've never been happy over this. For example on one school I know of a member of staff had both his son and daughter pass through that school. He was an Assistant Principal ( different structure to yours) but it meant he 'ran ' the sixth form. He recommended to the executive team the 'prefects' and the 'Head boy and Head girl' ( who basically are the leaders of the school). He recommended his own son and daughter in their appropriate years. Had I been Principal , no matter how good the kids were for the role , given their father's position and the issue of 'clean hands' I couldn't have sanctioned it . Justice has to be seen to be transparent .

Even in my day Jackie , coming from a US background , apparently asked specifically not to teach me , warning the management team , we knew each other well outside the school, The school refused the request given that teaching your own son or daughter was seen as ok, and was quite routine . I think that this can mean that in some cases you have to harder on the child you know , so that others clearly see no favoritism, which would damage both parties.

Only my view. But I don't really support family in the same school.

As to the Atlanta situation ....well it , as I hinted above, always seems hypocritical to tell our kids to be honest and play by the rules, when we ourselves are often 'economical with the truth'. The older you get the crime changes , from dissembling and lying, to getting found out ! In my childhood lying was the most heinous of crimes; today it's often the Politician 's first recourse As for bureaucrats .........?????

Best wishes,




November 30 2010, 6:18 AM 

Despite evidence showing that schools with no or little use of corporal punishment perform better than those schools that do use corporal punishment are choosing a very simplistic way of analysing the issue. You may find that those schools at the bottom of the hierarchy are in geographical areas that are economically disadvantaged. I attended three schools during my 13 years of schooling, one in a wealthier suburb and two in less wealthy suburbs. My secondary school was interesting as it was in a less suburb area but it outperformed wealthier private schools in academia and sports, despite its use of corporal punishment. In actual fact the school started to slide down the list when corporal punishment was banned and removed from Government schools in 1990, this also coincided with the recession of the 1990s and it is apparent that the school has never quite recovered despite the economic recovery of the late 90s and the "naughties".

I recently read an article from an American newspaper that talked about a study that showed children who were spanked by their parents peformed better academically than those children who were not spanked by their parents. whether these children peform better because of a fear of being spanked is not the issue here.

The reality for the ideologues is that it is really up to the individual as to how well they perform academically. There are schoolchildren who do perform well in areas of economic disadvantage as there are those who do not perform well in economically advantaged areas. Realistically all schoolchildren should have access to the same opportunities to shine. I believe that the overuse of corporal punishment has negative impacts on its recipients; however I don't believe that a few whacks on the bottom for occasional misbehavior is going to adversely impact the recipients academic performance.

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