“Conventional Quackery” of Deadly Education Fad: Liberals, Conservatives Both Guilty

13 10 2007

Francis Cullen, a distinguished research professor in criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati, says their popularity was based on “conventional quackery.” In the absence of scientific proof, the boot camps just seemed like a good idea.

“What was special about the boot-camp idea is that liberals and conservatives liked it — though for different reasons,” he said. “Liberals liked it because they meant less incarceration. Conservatives liked it because they meant harshness and discipline and discomfort. It was like the perfect storm.”

. . .”People seemed to have a gut feeling that they would work,” said Doris L. MacKenzie, a criminology professor at the University of Maryland who has studied the boot camps for the U.S. Justice Department . . .”They didn’t seem to want to use science in making their decisions.”

Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 13, 2007



3 responses

13 10 2007

And like schooling and certain conservative Christian homeschooling, the physical punishment is a huge part of what even boot camps now acknowledge DOESN’T work in education.

He added that physical punishment for not completing exercises was not allowed at the camp — as apparently happened the day Martin died.

Indeed, it has been the use of physical punishment that has left several of the boot-camp efforts open to criticism for being inhumane.

13 10 2007

Local stories about the FL boot camp death not-guilty verdict, and the resulting student protests downtown and on campus:

“Decision Brings Anger, Relief”

“Students Take Anger to the Streets in Anderson Verdict”

“Students Raise Voices of Outrage at the Capitol”

“Some Tallahassee Residents Angered at Verdict”

Favorite Daughter was downtown for musical theatre rehearsal last night. I dropped her off just before all this started, it seems, because everyone else coming to rehearsal was caught in it and delayed. Going home I did see several police cars heading downtown, sirens screaming, but I assumed it was for a football game pep rally since it was Friday evening.

Anyway, here’s the thing, just being completely honest here — suppose Favorite Daughter had
been waiting outside the downtown church last night, curious about the sirens and why rehearsal was delayed, with her innocent white face and unschooled ways. And say the indignant young African-American crowd had been inflamed by hours of being blocked and moved around from place to place by the authorities, and tv cameras were there, and some two or three, maybe six or eight young students in the mob hurt Favorite Daughter somehow, maybe even on purpose, all hopped up on injustice as they were at that moment.

That’s wrong, right? And what would be the “right” thing next? I can tell you right now that I’m not gonna care if they are legally “adults” or not —

28 09 2010
EDUCATION NATION Tuesday: Different Memes for Different Dreams « Cocking A Snook!

[…] the downside of what I heard: their prescriptions for relentless parent pushing and militaristic boot camp examples — teachers breaking teens down to build them back up as a well-trained credit to the […]

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