Friday, September 2, 2016
New school start date misses the correct educational change
With the Governor proposing an after Labor Day school start next year the discussion of how to schedule school is once again being examined. The later school date seems unrelated to any educational benefit but is tied more to businesses, especially at the shore, hanging onto their high school students longer. Attendance at the Maryland State Fair should also go up with the later start date. Additionally the reduced need for school closings for non air conditioned class rooms has also been mentioned. This year that has been a problem for some schools in Baltimore County.
When you factor in the requirement of a school closing date of no later than June 15th the number of teacher days and other school breaks seem to be the only other way to still get in the mandatory 180 school days. These have been sacrosanct to school personnel and families. You can be sure that any change in the school calendar will not be supported by teachers or school personnel.
I have to say that the later start date has always made sense to me. I always looked at how the beach rental rates would start dropping as much as 2 weeks before Labor Day as families could not rent those weeks. I bet the owners of beach rentals will love the new start date and keep their rates up longer.
So now that the start and closing dates for schools is being changed isn't it time to take a more comprehensive look at how school scheduling impacts educational achievement? Isn't this really more important than some economic benefit? This gets back to examining year around school calendars rather than continuing to follow the outdated summer break calendar. The calendar was designed back in a different time of our Country that may no longer be relevant today. What is still relevant is that the longer the time of school breaks the more learning that is lost and has to be retaught. This is particularly true for students from low income families who can't afford programs that provide some educational enrichment activities.
Here is the case for year around school.
I bet the teachers union will try to get the legislature to over rule this change in the upcoming session. There is already some questioning by those opposed to this order that the Governor doesn't have the authority to make this change.
Posted by duanestclair at 5:19 AM