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[Susan notes: I agree that curriculum is the key. I wrote an article asserting this back in the 80ies ("There's Only One True Technique for Good Discipline," reprinted in Who's In Charge? A Teacher Speaks Her Mind.) The problem these days is that teachers are tied to rigid standards-based curricula and increasingly administrators want everybody on the same page.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

A theme raised a few times in "His Leverage Secure, the Mayor Continues to Press Public Schools" (news article, Jan. 4) was the goal of improving the behavior of students in our public schools.

The simplest method for maintaining proper discipline in school is for teachers to provide highly motivating lessons. This often takes a fair amount of forethought and careful planning.

Genuinely engaging all students in the material to be learned will keep them from pursuing disruptive behavior, which usually comes from not being properly motivated.

This time-honored method is best guaranteed with sufficient resources allocated to continued teacher professional development.

Investing in appropriate professional development is the most efficient form of educational enhancement.

Alfred S. Posamentier, Dean, School of Education, The City College of New York

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