Monday, September 28, 2009
AND LONGER SCHOOL YEARS
DISCREDITED AND DEBUNKED LONG AGO
Sigh. When will the politicians think of finding out what the EVIDENCE shows is the cost-effectiveness, or lack of it, of the ideas they throw out in an attempt to score points for education reform?
For the record, there's no evidence that year-round schools and longer school days help kids. What's needed is better management of school resources, including more time-on-task in school buildings, and selection of better-quality curricula all through the grade levels.
Despite the facts, President Obama is pushing for year-round schools and longer school days, anyway. Obviously, this is a union ploy to increase K-12 wages by 25% or more, with cascading consequences to the already-mountainous operating fund shortfalls, unfunded pension scandals, and all of the rest of the financial and management problems that schools have.
That doesn't even count what many parents and teachers dislike the most about year-round schooling and longer school days: the increase in burnout among students and teachers and accompanying behavior problems and "school sour" problems, and the erasure of time available for family-directed learning and family-strengthening "off-grid" relaxation time, including family vacations and complementary learning excursions.
The evidence has been clear for some time that lengthening the school day and the school year do not improve student achievement in any meaningful way. It's a jobs program that would only increase costs exponentially.
Here's a recent study which backs that up once again:
And here's a column I wrote about this issue:
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