Along with passing the budget last week, our school board also voted to end the school year two days early – sort of a give-back for the two snow days built into the calendar that we didn’t use.
Some members spoke of supporting teachers by giving them more time to do their year-end administrative chores. I think they just liked the idea of saving two days worth of diesel fuel from not having to run thousands of busses.
But the decision also got me thinking about past years when board members wouldn’t even consider giving back unused snow days.
It wouldn’t be right. We just couldn’t deprive students of two days of valuable “instructional time”.
Which is really funny since our school calendar is full of days that are not instructional.
Like all the standardized testing. Practice tests. Days before big holidays.
Plus all the time eaten up this time of year with shutting down school for the summer. And that needed to start it up again in September.
Because as we all know from our own experience passing through the American education system, “official” learning only goes on for roughly nine and a half months each year.
The first step to any genuine school reform in this country would be to dump the pseudo-agrarian calendar from sixty years ago that most districts still cling to as if it was passed down on Charlton Heston’s tablets.
It even might make those two days more valuable.