Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Open Thread Tuesday

What's on your mind?

64 comments:

Dora Taylor said...

Whoa! I never get to be first!

There are three proposed bills that the legislators are reviewing regarding teacher evaluation based on test scores.

I asked parents around the country their opinion on this evaluation system, parents who have gone through it and they have much of value to say.

Check it out at seattleducation2010.wordpress.com

I still can't get the htmnl to work on this site!

Dora

Mag Mom said...

Does anyone else think our school year (time spent in school) is too short? And our school days are too short? This is on my mind on furlough day after a week off for snow.

Mike said...

Cliff Mass has another broadside post here: http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2012/01/uw-admissions-and-failing-k-12.html

Title: "UW Admissions and Failing K-12 Education"

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm hearing that a few schools are having charter discussions within their PTAs. Anyone hear anything at your school?

Patrick said...

Mag Mom, I do think our school days are too short. There's not enough time in class and there's not enough time in recess or lunch for the kids to eat, run around a bit, and socialize. If I were king, I'd make the day about an hour longer, 30 minutes in extra class time and 30 minutes in longer lunch and another recess period in the afternoon.

The school year would be a harder call for me. The long break gives older kids a chance to get a job, visit a different part of the world, or do some all-day enrichment class. On the other hand, I would like summer school to be available for those kids who can't do those things.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that our school day is too short. I consistently hear our principal talk about how she doesn't want more enrichment activities because they don't have enough instructional time currently. Even an extra half hour would be a godsend, and it seems that most private schools (and other public school districts like Bellevue) have at least a 6.5 hour days. Dare to dream.
SPS MOM of 2

Anonymous said...

Dora, NYT has a great article on NY's teacher eval system and all its costly and administrative headaches. NY got $700 millions RTT money over 4 years from the feds. Sounds like a lot but to fund NY state education over 4 years, the state will spend $230 Billions. (insert EDM usage) The feds got a lot of control, and the state got the dirty job and cost of trying to implement this. Think all state legislators need to read this article first before they vote.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/education/
in-obamas-race-to-the-top-work-and-
expense-lie-with-states.html?
pagewanted=1&hpw

MagMom, at our tradtional ES, June is full of fieldtrips, parties, field day, and assemblies. Learning pretty much ends at the end of May. In our Es, the math/LAs are taught in the AM, science kits- when they do them, in the afternoon. The rest of the day filled in with PE, recess/lunch, /music/art/
libarary/free time. So at least for our school, school year is pretty longe enough. Hate the 1/2 days though as they screw up child care.

What I would like to see more of are integrated projects like hands on project for some math/science and LA units that allow more creativity and active learning. Not sure how this fly with standardization and pacing and veering off EDM and science kits. But some of that can fill up the afternoon with play writing and acting them out or building a structure using bits of geometry and science.

MS has set schedule. Kids have much more HW and sports stuff. In our house, we don't want a longer MS day, unless it's a free period to do HW and get academic help. Lunch could be a bit longer due to long lines to buy and then not enough time to eat and unwind.

Also, this may sound a bit weird, but we are start to think smaller class size < 28, is better for MS kids (just like K-1). They are learning not just the academics, but how to study, how to be more responsible for class/homework, how to deal in a larger school with many different teachers and peer groups, how to communicate/advocate for themselves when there are more than 150 kids per teacher. Learning to do all of this with a growing body and hormone shift makes for an interesting time.

another mom

dan dempsey said...

When article IX section I of the WA Constitution .... says ample education... what does that mean?

If you buy into the need for "schools that achieve top level performance" from more students then it seems at least a 195 day school year and a school day at least one hour longer is needed.

As for educationally disadvantaged learners ... the OSPI annual testing shows on average huge gaps for so many of those kids.

This should be a no brainer .... but it likely will not happen ... the short-sighted do not wish to pay the bill. .... Sadly this seems like a game of taking sides rather than analyzing the situation and providing solutions.

============
Economically the USA has entered an entirely changed world .... hoping for the past just won't cut it.

David said...

I'm worried about budget and capacity mostly.

In particular, I'm wondering to what extent budget cuts will come out of central administration instead of classrooms. Worrisome is that central administration mostly controls the budget. I'd guess what happens largely depends on the willingness of our new school board to push for the right thing in where the cuts fall.

Anonymous said...

Mag Mom,
I have 2 kids in elementary school and I do think we could use a longer school day (so I have no experience with the middle school needs that another mom discusses). I like the idea of increased instuctional time and more active time (more PE and/or recess). I have friends with kids in NC public schools and their day is 45 minutes longer and family in New Orleans and their day is 60 minutes longer (though a Catholic schools, so they take daily religion). The NC school has a similar amount of recess and PE so their increased time is instructional. I'm not sure about a longer school year, personally, because we travel and do enriching things with our kids. That said, I have seen a little summer slide with one of my kid's MAP scores. Beyond my own children's needs, I find the all year round school (or perhaps increased school year) argument compelling based on the summer slide of children living in poverty.
elementary mom

Kathy said...

Mag Mom.

Yes, I do. I've not counted up early release days, furlough days etc., but I suspect we're about 175school days per year-atleast at my child's middle school. They seem to have more professional days scheduled.

Anonymous said...

Driving home from school today, I had a thought: do you think the District is applying the furlough in such a way as to make the union (SEA) look bad?

No teacher I know wanted it to be this way. Every teacher I know thinks there were ways to handle it better.

So, is this a tactic to union-bust by disrupting famiilies and kids? I'm beginning to wonder.

n...

Sahila said...

Washington State parents, teachers, community members.... if you want your Occupy actions to focus on/support public education, please join this new group and spread the word...

Occupy WA State Education

Anonymous said...

Regarding school day and year: YES!!! More time during the day. I, too, need more instructional time so we are not hurrying through everything! I'd like a seven-hour day including fifteen minutes more prep time and forty-five instructional time. My first graders are pretty active in the classroom so more recess isn't my priority.

n...

I also like a longer school year but not as long as middle and high school might want. Little ones take a great deal of prep - K-1 mostly. I'd prefer trimesters with longer breaks between over a summer break. And June is wasted. In fact, I resent all the days off because we will have to make them up in June when school is actually closing down and little gets accomplished. In Seattle, science kits have to be returned too early. All the testing gets done in May -sometimes early May. What's the point? It's the tail wagging the dog. Let us use as much time as possible to teach and then test, return kits etc. When all is said and done, we have a very small frame in which to do an awful lot of teaching.

Anonymous said...

(reposted to put signature in proper place)

Regarding school day and year: YES!!! More time during the day. I, too, need more instructional time so we are not hurrying through everything! I'd like a seven-hour day including fifteen minutes more prep time and forty-five instructional time. My first graders are pretty active in the classroom so more recess isn't my priority.

I also like a longer school year but not as long as middle and high school might want. Little ones take a great deal of prep - K-1 mostly. I'd prefer trimesters with longer breaks between over a summer break. And June is wasted. In fact, I resent all the days off because we will have to make them up in June when school is actually closing down and little gets accomplished. In Seattle, science kits have to be returned too early. All the testing gets done in May -sometimes early May. What's the point? It's the tail wagging the dog. Let us use as much time as possible to teach and then test, return kits etc. When all is said and done, we have a very small frame in which to do an awful lot of teaching.

n...

NLM said...

We just moved here last year and our last school district (southern state) had a 180-day year from August through May and an hour of addl. time each day. Elemen.kids had two 20 min. recesses and one 30 min lunch. When I enrolled DD hin SPS, I was reminded to get her to school by 9a as school starts promptly at 9. <> No problem, I said, we're used to school being 8 to 3! I feel like it's a good thing I'm home to do afterschooling work. She's actually "in school" less than half of every month!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
parent said...

APP isn't technically "gone" from Lowell. Physically, they are in a different space (for this year and next), but budget wise and staffing wise, they are still one school. Can they add programs to Lowell if APP is still part of it?

Eric B said...

High school definitely needs another hour, and I think it would be helpful at all levels. I went to a college-prep high school that had seven periods, 55 minutes each for 180 days. We need that level of academics so that kids can both do college-entry type classes and some enrichment/life skills. For kids choosing not going to college, it gives an opportunity to do real vocational education.

Anonymous said...

After how many years of ineffective Writers Workshop in the NYC schools?

LOL if it weren't so sad.

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/NYC-officials-dodge-blame-over-SHCOOL-X-NG-sign-2682725.php

-JC.

Zebra (or Zulu) said...

To n.....

If you cannot produce a proficient student in 180 days, may I suggest that a close examination of how you spend your class time and planning time is in order.

Let me guess...you are doing Writer's and Reader's Workshop, performing "running records" at the behest of your Principal, and teaching the text heavy EDM math curriculum (if you're not, then you are not "onboard"). You are constantly playing "catch-up" because other people are telling you how to teach to the standards, how to plan your day, and what to teach. You're spending hours selecting "just right" books for your kids (as required). Since you don't have any waivers at your school you have to teach these curricula. No waiver = top heavy curriculum dictums.

Well...you are a victim, not a teacher. 180 days is perfectly adequate to produce an at-standard or above-standard student if you are efficient and utilize your own creativity to address the needs of your students. Your SpEd. students will progress because you use your planning time to address their needs instead of reading Writer's Workshop manuals.

Do you really believe that you will be paid for a longer work day? Not! Do you think that 200 days a year will do your students any good when you are teaching into July or starting on August 15th? Do you believe that you can sustain your momentum at a highly tuned level for 200 days with 28 children? It won't happen. You're talking the District (reformer) line here. This is what the Charter School and Creative Approach School proponents are pushing. More work...same pay.

MAPsucks said...

Very Funny! Today at the Exec Committee, they discussed the Supt Search. DeBell, Patu, KSB, McLaren and Peasless were in attendance. They were going over the proposed advertisement for the Supt position. In devising language to best describe our fair city and the support residents provide our public schools; someone offered something like "Seattle is a lively city that offers strong support etc". Betty says: "Well, I don't know if lively would be considered a good thing" and then shot me an impish look. Everybody in the room cracked up. : )

Wha..?! Hey! I resemble that remark!

Sahila said...

New Parents Across America group up and running in Tacoma http://www.paatacoma.org/press-release-new-parents-group-supports-innovation-schools

Sahila said...

pass me a bucket--I have to puke; Romney/Bain are partnered with Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst to take down public education and the teaching profession:

Bain-Social Change & Education

JaneS said...

Can someone explain why Readers and Writers Workshop is being used so widely when it is not Board adopted? Do schools have to use it?

From SPS:

Reading K-5
The district adopted two reading programs, Houghton-Mifflin and Pegasus. Recently, schools have received professional development in reading using Readers Workshop.

Writing K-5
The district adopted a structured writing program, The Write Direction. Schools have begun to supplement this program with Writers Workshop.

Anonymous said...

@Shalia. You always find the dirty connections first. That's a compliment of sorts.

Crap. Now I can't vote Republican as threatened out of contempt for Obama bringing us Arnie Duncan.

Think I will have to fall back on Plan B. Vote for whoever would pledge to get rid of the national Dept. of Education. I don't mean Perry...he's out of the race because he couldn't remember his brilliant idea.

I'm serious on this. Forget the Dept. of Ed. Cut taxpayer overhead. Chop off the national PAC leeches and overpaid advisors.

A bit of libertarianism would benefit Democrats right now.

EdVoter

seattle citizen said...

That's a funny story, JC, did you note that the story itself, about a mis-spelled "shcool," had an error in it?
"workers apparently cut into the several months ago..."

Sahila said...

5 Biggest Lies

Sahila said...

@EdVoter....your vote is wasted, whichever way you choose to cast it...

there really is no difference between the parties because they're both the puppets of the oligarchs... look behind the curtain of each and you will see the same small group of puppetmasters/string pullers...

Anonymous said...

Ah, Jane S. It's the "marketing" thing. There's always something new to keep departments in administration busy. Writers Workshop is not an "adoption" but has been piloted and accepted pretty generally. I think teachers like it overall but it does continue to change. It was pretty much presented as a gift to get all kids writing. I think it does standardize the process of writing which is a help. I like it. Still, we have it because it is the next new thing.

Readers workshophas been marketed by Teachers College at Columbia and it, too, continues to change. Really, all it does is confirm what we already know: reading makes readers. There are pieces that go with the workshop: word study, strategy groups, etc., but they are pieces that are expected to be done along with "readers workshop" - which, again, is mostly just reading and conferring with individual readers.

Again, I like it. But with all the pieces in place and the writing expectations, it is very time consumptive and I think we lose a lot of read aloud time which is crucial for beginning readers.

Really, it isn't the program. Our District has spent millions (think Carl Sagan here) on programs. We could be using a program from the seventies and be doing just fine. It isn't the program that makes the difference.

Still, I'm okay with both workshops now that they are operating in my classroom.

One more thing: I think the workshop relies on the leveling system created by Fountas and Pinnell - another marketed leveling system (as with grade levels and lexiles) and one that is turning out to be anything but scientific or even consistent.

Google Teachers College writers workshop or readers workshop and you'll see the whole thing pretty much.

This is my view. Chime in if you disagree or have more to add. I'd like to know more myself about how it is working in various classrooms esp. with our time constraints.

n...

Kathy said...

I agree with Eric. We need 7 periods of high school per day. At this point, the state is only funding 5.

Sahila said...

more craziness.... coming to a school near you not to far into the future:

" ...Paul R. Infante, the director of fine and applied arts for the Commack School District on Long Island...is trying to figure out how to develop a test or an assessment system to rate band teachers.

Several weeks ago the state sent out a guide. The band teacher could listen to every child play at the start of the year and assign a score from 1 to 4.

“At the end of the year,” the state guide says, “the teacher re-evaluates their students.” (Someone needs to evaluate the state’s grammar.)

The teacher again grades students from 1 to 4, and the sum of the progress they have made during the year determines the teacher’s rating."... testing band and music is on its way

Anonymous said...

It's what's missing From Readers and Writers Workshop that concerns me.

For writing, there is an imbalance where too much focus is placed on personal writing and not enough on expository style writing. I do not see my child's writing improving. It's almost stagnating.

For reading, I think there is a place for book clubs, but also see a need to read a book as a class and have the teacher there to guide discussion. We've encountered situations where the teacher hadn't read the group's selected text and the book was totally inappropriate.

We've seen it eat up so much time that social studies is an afterthought, whereas it used to be an opportunity for more reading and writing.

-not a fan

Jan said...

Sahila:

Oh, for Pete's sake. From silly to sillier! Anyone who has had a child in middle or high school band knows that the Band Director spends his/her time on getting the various sections to learn ensemble pieces for performances. Yes, some musical teaching goes on, and yes, there are sectionals where students in smaller groups can work on technique, tone, rhythm, etc. -- but many/most kids who progress are taking private lessons. And regardless of who does or does not -- musical progression is heavily heavily influenced by who practices (and how much) and who does not. In fact -- if they wanted to pick a "subject" that would most blatantly, clearly illustrate the problem of holding teachers responsible for student achievement -- they could not have done better than this harebrained (hairbrained?) idea!

Melissa Westbrook said...

EdVoter (and anyone else thinking of voting against Obama), here's what I'm doing.

The Dems need all hands on deck this election. I'm writing to the Obama campaign and the national Dems and telling them I will cast my vote for the President.

What I WON'T do is give his campaign money or time. Last election day, I was out at 6 o'clock, in the rain, making sure voters had gone to the polls. I won't be doing that this time.

If they want the help, they have to listen. If enough of us tell them, they will have to listen.

Anonymous said...

OMG, Lynne Varner thinks she's made her point... HAH!

lkvarner tweet

"Who says teachers aren't respected n our society? Public school teacher sitting w/ @MichelleObama at #StateoftheUnion. #seatimesopinion"

yeah, who says! | b

Mr Ed

dan dempsey said...

Try this high school schedule ... from Round Mountain Nevada.

7 periods at 62 minutes each.

A small high school so passing times were only 3 minutes. School day begins at 7:50 and over at 3:52

I could see this working well with a teacher teaching 5 periods and 2 plans. => teaching for 5 hours 10 minutes and planning for 2 hours 4 minutes.

To think that a high school teacher could do a high quality job year after year teaching 6 hours 12 minutes and planning for 62 minutes ... is unrealistic.

Sahila said...

@Mr Ed... I believe the teacher sitting with Michelle Obama is a TFAer - at least that's what's being said on Twitter...

and the whole education portion of the SOTUS was ed deformy...

Anonymous said...

yet another in which she is non-expert, lkv tweets:

"Ah, but Mr. Prez, will teachers unions allow rewarding good teachers, i.e. merit pay. So far no. #SOTU #seatimesopinion"

Who was sitting with Michelle? Former "teacher" Michelle Rhee?

WV: I just want to disms all of them...

Mr. Ed

Melissa Westbrook said...

There is a teacher (21 ys) who worked without pay when her district ran out of money. The other person is a college grad who is going into TFA's bilingual ed program.

Anonymous said...

JC or someone,

I'd be interested in knowing more about Writer's Workshop and why you think it is bad.

Thanks,

Sps mom

Sahila said...

once more with feeling, all together now:

"Its the poverty, stupid!"

school success

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. Those two window props are supposed to represent teachers across our nation...

Mr Ed

Speechless said...

Mag Mom: For kids in elementary school, I would prefer to have a shorter school day, for our family each day feels TOO LONG. I would also prefer less interruptions during the school year, and perhaps an additional couple of weeks during summer. I really don't think schools should be long enough to accommodate working parents' schedules, that's what day care is for.

dan dempsey said...

Jay Greene on Pres Obama ... and his speech HERE.

nlm said...

Speechless, FWIW 8 to 3 hardly accommodates working parents. 9 to 3 requires before and afterschool care. 8to 3 still requires addl. paid care. Seattle's hours are abnormally short.

Mom of Little Kids said...

I agree with Speechless. I'm a mom of little kids (oldest is 6 1/2), and if you factor in the time she's on the bus, and the 10 1/2 - 11 hours of sleep she needs (and I still have to drag her out of bed each morning), and an hour or two a day for personal care (eating, bathrooming, the occasional bath/shower, etc), she has about 1 1/2 or 2 hours total out of every 24 that are not spoken for!

Luckily, we do zero screen time in our house, and her teacher doesn't give homework, so she spends about a third of that 1 1/2 hours reading on her own and the other hour is spent in unstructured play with her siblings. It's truly sad to me that a six year old only gets an hour a day of unstructured play at home. I would hate to see a longer school day.

Oh, and for anyone curious, we have to walk out the door to get her to the bus at 7:05am and we walk back in each afternoon at 3:45pm. Certainly, this would be easier if her bus ride weren't an hour long each way, or if I were able to drive her, or if she were a kid who didn't need so much sleep, etc. I'm just offering the perspective, that for many kids, a six hour school day is actually very long, especially if you factor in transportation.

anonymous said...

I agree with Speechless in that I do NOT believe school schedules should be set to accommodate working parents, or to allow buses to run double routes. Every decision that affects students, including school hours, should be made by figuring out what best serves THE STUDENTS. How many hours can a 5 year old remain focused and composed in school? How many periods in a day does it take for a high school student to graduate college or career ready?

IheartSPS

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous said...

On Writers Workshop in middle school.

Each child chooses their own book to read, analyze, and then write about. That means there is no group analysis, and no teacher led discussion on the book. It also means that often the teacher has never even read the book.

Students are asked to write in their journals every night. Our MS teacher has said she does not have the time to read each child's writing so she has students read and critique each others work. This of course means that the students do not receive feedback, suggestions, and critique of their writing from their teachers.

Writers Workshop offers very little in the way of structure in writing, grammar, conventions, or spelling. It also offers very little in the way of persuasive or essay writing, and focuses almost solely on personal narratives. Very limited.

Thank god there is no High School version of Writers Workshop.

IheartSPS

Charlie Mas said...

Strictly speaking, the Board has not adopted any instructional materials for K-8 reading or writing. The only LA adoptions were, I believe, for high school. Even then, they only adopted a list of books.

The District web site indicates that some kind of middle school language arts materials adoption is in progress, but the information on the web page is clearly obsolete.

Sahila said...

I agree with the parents here who think that the school schedule should be adapted to the developmental needs of children, not adults, nor should they be a mirror of workplace structures...

Finnish children do very well academically, when measured on the international PISA scale... they dont start school until they are 7, have shorter schools days and fewer of them than American children...

Sahila said...

abbeddLong piece from Washington SOS (Save Our Schools) follows as a comment... posting it here because it provides a snapshot of what's going in Washington state and nationally...

On Jan. 18th, the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee had a public hearing on Senate Bill 6202, the bill that would establish charters schools and transformation zones in Washington State. The bill authorizes charter schools operated independently of locally elected school boards through a complex system of authorities and applicants. The bill also sets up state takeover of the lowest persistently performing schools. OSPI estimates a fiscal impact of about $33 million each biennium to implement the bill, starting in 2013. Organizations opposing the bill include WEA, AWSP (Principals), WSSDA (School Boards/Superintendents) and OSPI. Supporters of the bill include the Washington Roundtable and the League of Education Voters. Let the bill's sponsor & our local legislators know how you feel about this bill and your suggestions for improving

“Why Can’t the U.S. be like the Finnish School System?”

The Finnish school system was hailed in the pro-charter-schools propaganda film “Waiting for Superman” as an exemplary way to educate students. Why not ask our legislators to copy some aspects of their model? The Finnish characteristics include:

Ø Three years of maternity leave for workers and subsidized day care

Ø High quality preschool

Ø No hungry students

Ø No school before age 7

Ø No standardized tests

Ø Same per-pupil rate in each school

Ø Multicultural learning experts in every school

Ø Students held accountable for learning

Ø A ninth-grade divider determining either an academic or vocational high-school experience

Ø Free college

Ø Fully unionized workforce

Ø Accountability in the hands of teachers and principals

Ø System run by educators, not politicians

Ø Fewer hours for teachers in school with more time to develop curriculum and assess students

You might try running this by your legislators and seeing their reactions….

Sahila said...

Part Two:

The National SOS is coming back strong, with new committees waiting for volunteers.

Personally, I would like to see an OCCUPY DOE. That might get Obama's attention re Duncan. Opt Out already has plans underway for a national Occupy DOE March 30 – April 2. I would love to see us do something in WA state….

In the meantime, here's some news about what's happening in other states, and why it's so important for us to stay vigilant:

State Report Outs and Updates:

Ø Kansas City schools have been taken over by the state; they want to end tenure

Ø Wisconsin governor is ramping up to strengthen teacher evaluation

Ø New Hampshire – teacher evaluations also; Monday 1/23, the legislature votes on a new voucher plan

Ø Indiana – Starting in 2013-14 there will be no cap on vouchers for families with less than $60,000 income. Teacher evaluations are also a hot topic.

Ø Kentucky - In KY we are just now fighting KARE Kentucky Association for Reforming Education. They are spending lots of money on commercials to tout charter schools

Ø Louisiana A weak point in the teacher evaluation bill is the grievance procedure and ability to go through the due process when teachers appeal the ratings they get. Every teacher who is deemed ineffective should appeal and there will be chaos. Our eval calls for 50% student score factor. There is no way districts/state will be able to handle what they predict will be a huge number of failing evals.

Ø Washington state – the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee had a public hearing on Senate Bill 6202, the bill that would establish charters schools and transformation zones in Washington State. The bill authorizes charter schools operated independently of locally elected school boards through a complex system of authorities and applicants. The bill also sets up state takeover of the lowest persistently performing schools.

Ø Colorado – teacher evaluations are 50% tied to one test score; each Denver district is redoing evaluations ........

Anonymous said...

Don't we 1/2 day K still? or is that gone?

curious

Sahila said...

Education 'Reform': a battle in an arena occupied by oligarchs, astro turf/teacher/parent groups... all adults with axes to grind. Who speaks for the children at the mercy of what the adults have decided 'education' is/is not?

Mag mom said...

Sorry, let me clear. I do not think its too short because I want childcare while I work--I'm a stay at home mom. And I agree, if your child is on the bus 2 hours a day plus school that's way too much. I'm talking strictly about instruction time in the best interest of students, not parents.

Mag mom said...

I just think a week off at thanksgiving (parent cOnferences), 2 weeks off at Christmas, inevitable snow days or week, winter break, spring break + all the holidays and teacher development days are way too much.

Sahila said...

Subcontracting Out Public Education - doesnt work... a case study: Subcontracting Public Education

Sahila said...

why Florida's kids wont get a break.... parent Trigger Bill Drums Up Business For Pearson

Anonymous said...

theartSPS: They have included persuasive writing in the new calendar. You are speaking to MS and I was speaking to elementary. Little work on conventions but teachers are supposed to supplement that. A middle school teacher from Whitman visited our school and sold us on it.

Go figure. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

n...

Anonymous said...

Mag Mom, let me see here: you must read a lot. Sounds like you've become an expert on how teachers use their time. I'm okay with year-round school if you really are okay with a four-hour day. That would give me really nice planning time every day and I'd no longer be working 14/7 to keep up. Yes, that would be pretty good. I'd acually get to enjoy the holidays with my family instead of planning for the next science, math, social studies and language arts units. Of course, all those parents who are going to take their kids out of school for the discretionary vacations would want to have a traveling educational program for their kid(s) so they wouldn't fall behind. I'd have to say no to that. But, a four or five hour day with an hour-and-a-half planningtime or perhaps two hours? I could do that. I could.

Somehow, I don't think most families these days will go along with your suggestion so I probably shouldn't hold my breath that it will be enacted any time soon.

BTW, Mag Mom, when you did work - assuming you have worked at some point - how many clients did you serve simultaneously for six hours five days a week?

Teachers have become servants to some people.

n...

Anonymous said...

i thought there was talk about moving a spectrum program to fill up the space at lowell. what happened.
will there enough enrollment to fill up the school for next year?

Tay said...

I'm coming to this late, but better late then never. I think that our school day is a good length of time. Most schools with long days have a 2 hour lunch session that gives them roughly the same time as us. I like having time in the day to see my children and touch base with them. Year round school on the other hand would be great. One that follows the UK system would be nice. However, I only ask that it be for grades K-8 and the High schools could stay with the summers off model. I'm of the opinion that you build a good foundation starting with early childhood ed and then you can loosen the reins in High school grades. Also older kids could work if they need to.