Skip to main content

View Diary: A Response to TeacherKen and Dailykos Community (357 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Lengthen the school day... (none)
    Lengthening the school day by 2-3 hours would allow schools to include art, music and physical education at the end of the day and concentrate the purely academic subjects in the traditional 8-2 time period.  This time period could also provide intensive individual instruction, more challenging instruction for the gifted and would have the additional benefit of supervision of children, epecially adolescents, too old for day care.

    Summer vacation could be limited to 6 weeks,
    beginning in mid July and ending after Labor Day.

    This would, of course, cost a lot of money,  including raising teacher's pay considerably.

    Incidentally, I am a pre-school teacher, and am aware of the objections that might be raised

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    by historys mysteries on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 10:29:40 AM PDT

    •  My kids attend (none)
      schools with lengthened days.  Sure, its not easy...they leave the house before 7:00 in the morning and don't get home til almost 5:00.  This is not easy on small children, and ofcourse, it makes it difficult for older ones to do things like community work, afterschool jobs, etc.

      However, the biggest and best tradeoff is that it allows for enough time in school to actually complete most assignments...homework is kept at a reasonable limit.  When my children attended schools with shorter days, they often would have several hours worth of homework...things that there just was not time to complete within the regular school day.    If we want to provide equal opportunity to all children, then let them all do most of their work where they can have the help of teachers and other school personnel.  Too many kids just aren't going to have parents who can help with hours of homework a night...and honestly, we shouldn't have to assume the role of teaching things that should be done in school.  As a parent, my role is to back up what was learned...and I can resent the notion that its my place to actually teach the basics like reading and math...if I wanted to homeschool my children I would do so.

    •  Reality Check (none)
      I'll try to be brief.

      You cannot lengthen the school day for various reasons.  One, with extra curriculars in middle and senior high, it just is not possible to still practice and/or play games and get the kids home at a decent time.  Two, the busing regime is built around staggered starting and ending times between elementary, middle and senior highs.  The system is locked into place.  And by the way, kids are only good for 6-7 hours a day, in-doors, cooped up in desks, asked to do things they don't naturally do.

      As for a longer school year.  Why?  Show me what the benefit is?  The real problem in schools is not the amount of time, it's the quality of the activities, the effectiveness of the teachers and the overall ethos in the building.  Doing more of what does not work will not change anything. That's the definition of insanity right there--doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

      Vilsack, the whole schtick with politicians right now is to come across as tougher than the other guy.  "I'm tougher on accountability.  I'll bring home the test score bacon.  I'll bust those teacher's butts."  It sounds to me like you want to be the guy who outdoes the Japanese on days at the grindstone.  It may sound good in Peoria, but unless you have a fundamentally new approach to school, more time at school will become the NCLB of your era.

      In Minnesota they mandated an extra five days and wanted to grow it to ten.  One problem, they appropriated no funding to pay for it.  As a professional, I may be willing to buy materials for my kids, work extra time grading and making comments, go to games and other extra-curriculars, call, email and meet with parents, I am willing to do a lot, but if the State tells me I have to work an extra ten days without any increase in pay and I don't object to it, I am no longer a professional.

      Is our culture slipping?  Yes.  Are parents partly to blame?  Yes.  Are kids partly to blame?  Yes.  Is T.V. partly to blame?  Yes.  Is America a place that denigrates wisdom and intellect?   Yes.  Do we ignore the arts and humanities?  Yes.  Is there an insane embrace of material capitalism?  Yes.  And on and on.

      And then, politicians dump the whole mess on schools.  How much can schools really alter the juggernaut of social reality in America?  Some, but not much.  

      I've got a ton more to say but I promised to be brief.  Read the book below.  It's out in a matter of weeks.

      Education? Teaching? NCLB? Read my book _Becoming Mr. Henry_

      by Mi Corazon on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:17:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (152)
  • Community (77)
  • Bernie Sanders (50)
  • Elections (45)
  • 2016 (41)
  • Climate Change (35)
  • Environment (34)
  • Hillary Clinton (33)
  • Culture (32)
  • Civil Rights (29)
  • Science (29)
  • Republicans (28)
  • Media (27)
  • Barack Obama (24)
  • Labor (23)
  • Law (23)
  • Spam (22)
  • Education (19)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (19)
  • Congress (18)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site