cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent has indicated that he may favor year-round schools as part of the solution for poorly-performing students. There are many things that come to mind, but, initially, I'd simply have to wonder if this is a solution if parents of those poorly-performing students don't buy into the importance of education today. What's going to change in the current equation other than getting more teacher time with each student (who attends) before they simply drop out, thus continuing the roughly 50% rate of graduation in that system?
Beyond this, I began wondering about just what would happen with year-round education?
Would we start this at the kindergarten level and continue it through the senior year of high school. If so, the typical 18-year-old would be about a 15-year-old when he or she graduated. Are they then going to be able to go on to college or trade school or get a job as an adult?
If we start year-round school at the freshman year of high school, students would graduate about nine months earlier than is currently the case. This would still seem to carry many of the same issues with it that were identified above.
If this were to occur, would students really benefit? I don't know the answer to my question (wouldn't make a good attorney, would I?).
What about our teachers? Would we make their compensation about 33% higher since they'd be teaching twelve months instead of nine months? When would they be able to gain their continuing education credits if this were the case? Would we need more teachers to flesh out the instructional teams instead of making the few do the additional work for additional compensation?
What about the child care issues this would create for those families, the majority I presume, where both parents must work in order to keep their financial house together?
And, finally, what about the kids, perhaps the biggest question of all in this situation? Are they ready at the age of four or five to begin a virtually full-time, year-round trip through the educational process? I doubt that. They shouldn't be compelled to do that even if they were psychologically and physically capable of enduring it.
What about "summer vacations"? What about the odd jobs that students use to gather up money for their needs and for advanced education? What about just plain old "having fun"? What about catching fireflies at night; and, roasting marshmallows around the fire pit; and, skipping rocks on a pond; and, gazing at the clouds looking for images to materialize; and, family vacations; and, kicking a ball around the neighborhood; and, the thousands of other things that kids do as they learn and develop and socialize and fight that their battles and nurse their hurts...and act like just plain kids?