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View Diary: It's Time To Cut Short Summer Vacation (57 comments)

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  •  Leon Botstein, the President of Bard College, (5+ / 0-)

    and an innovator of inner-city public school curricula, has written regularly against the extended school year. Primarily, he believes that schools use their time inefficiently, and that the press for extended school is more about social factors than it is about enhancing education. I'm not criticizing your point of view, but I think your diary is evidence that there are social factors beyond education which push the idea of extended study.

    Botstein is not against recreation and arts programs, but he thinks extending academic study is counterproductive especially since he believes we have not created efficiencies during the regular school year. His New York City schools, many populated with poor students, have been highly successful. It makes no sense to extend a failing system, that's the gist of the argument.

    In addition, he cites studies from Japan and elsewhere that showed an increased drop-out and burnout rate with the extended school system, and there's no additional academic achievement.

    I wish I could give you a link, I just googled his articles, and they are in the New York Times archives.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 09:18:53 AM PDT

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    •  Thanks for this. (3+ / 0-)
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      upstate NY, Panda, miss SPED

      I wasn't taking your comment as criticism, don't worry. I'd just love to read more viewpoints on this issue. Thanks for taking the time to spell out Mr. Botstein's...I'll go looking for more, as well.

      Now are the days we've been working for.

      by StrangeAnimals on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 09:39:44 AM PDT

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    •  some time back Japan had a suicide spike (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrangeAnimals

      blamed on the pressure they put kids through in school.

      I don't want a longer school year.

      I might be ok with a longer school DAY, split up -- I'd like to see kids get recess back (open schools at 7 a.m., first buses arrive at 7:30, serve breakfast until 8 a.m., have class from 8:10 to 10:10, have recess from 10:10 until 10:30, have lunch from 11:45 to 12:45, class from 12:55 to 2:45, then a recess until 3:15, then class again until 4:30. Buses leave at 4:45. Do this five days a week. Put the kids in one room during the day and circulate the teachers instead of the kids -- split the long class periods in half and have music or art or pe or study hall/tutoring (alternating days) -- in that last class period.

      Not only do kids need the break to get a drink, hit the restroom, work out the kinks from sitting so long, TEACHERS need the break, and the work-world OUTSIDE our schools is structured this way, daily.

      When we send adults to class or training we don't expect more than a 90-minute session without a break. Physiology and ergonomics drive that; why not recognize that kids, like puppies and kittens, aren't just learning about society but growing and need to be active?

      For kids in junior high and high school, add vocational-ed classes, for half-days, to the available choices in the afternoons. Teach kids how stuff works and you'll be surprised how many of them will choose careers that don't lead to cubicles -- they'd rather be aircraft mechanics, veterinary technicians, firefighters, paramedics, plumbers, builders, maybe even tailors and chefs.

      Kids who get free/reduced price lunches ought to also get breakfast and a "snack" at the end of the school day -- maybe a sandwich or salad cup and juice or milk.

      Texas: Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Lady Bird & LBJ, Ann Richards, Sam Rayburn, Dan Rather, Ike, Sully Sullenberger, Lloyd Bentsen. It's No Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 12:16:32 PM PDT

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