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View Diary: On school snow days and tests - (7 comments)

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  •  When I was a child I loved snow days (0+ / 0-)

    I grew up in Minnesota. In the old days, we’d have to watch TV or listen to the radio to see if our school was closed for a blizzard (we‘d cheer when we heard our school wasn‘t opening). Of course, if school was closed, we’d still go outside to build a snow man or build a snow fort or go sledding or skating.

    But if we had too many snow days, we’d have to make them up in the Spring or early Summer with a few extra days. You don’t get something free without paying for it eventually.

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    I think there are a couple reasons for making up the snow days. 1) The state and/or school district pays each school a certain amount of money based on how many pupils there are and how many hours they’re there. So the school district needs the money from make-up days. 2) Teachers sign contracts that say they have to teach a certain number of hours per day for the length of the school year. So if a day or three or twelve is cancelled for snow, either the teachers get paid less or the school year is extended (and the teachers get paid their full salaries).

    It seems obvious to me that standardized tests can’t be delayed. They should be administered on the same day. If you delay the tests in some schools, then kids from the earlier locations could send emails or send text messages or make phone calls to the kids whose tests were later. It's like kids from first-period history giving the test answers to kids in fifth-period history (assuming the test is the same).

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    Just recently I saw a news item that several local MN schools which had scheduled a day off on President’s Day had cancelled it (to make up for snow days).

    If you subtract a school day, you add it later.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 11:33:36 PM PST

    •  A few thoughts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teacherken

      1:) at least in my state, schools are paid by the number of students as measured by Sept.30. Hours aren't a consideration.

      2:) even if the students don't make up the days, I do. Don't assume that students and teacher time per year are measured the same way.

      3:) standardized tests, at least some of them, could be delayed. TPTB just don't want to.

      And more to TK's point: if I am to be judged on a test that supposedly measures what I have taught and I haven't been able to teach as much due to weather, what then is it measuring? How is it valid? (Not that it ever was valid, but I digress. . .)

      When days that were scheduled off get turned back into school days, attendance is generally abysmal. Not that it shouldn't happen, but instruction is impacted if half of a class isn't there. It fixes only part of a problem.

      "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way" Juan Ramon Jimnez

      by Teiresias70 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:54:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good points (0+ / 0-)

        My response. I'm not necessarily arguing or saying you're wrong. but a few points...

        1) It could be that schools are paid by the number of students on Sept. 30. But what if a family with five kids moves to a new school district in the same state? Does the new district get nothing? And if a ton of kids drop out or die or go to jail or whatever (after Sept. 30), the school still gets the money? That seems weird.

        2) Yep, you're right. Good point.

        3) Yeah, it seems like standardized tests could be delayed (but only if you delay them for everyone). Otherwise you'd have the problem of leakage.

        And I agree with you. I don't like standardized tests very much -- for a whole variety of reasons.

        "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

        by Dbug on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:09:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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