Two prayers....

God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

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A Catholic who follows Rome & the Magisterium. I'm against gay "marriage", abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. Altar girls, Communion in the hand, Eucharistic Ministers and "Protestant" music in the Church doesn't bother me at all. A proud American retired submarine sailor. Our borders should be secured with a 10 ft. high fence topped by concertina wire with minefields out to 20 yards on both sides and an additional 10 yards filled with warning signs outside of that Let's get energy independent NOW! Back Israel to the max, stop appeasing followers of the Pedophile Prophet. Pro 2nd Amendment, pro death penalty, Repeal all hate crime legislation. Back the police unless you'd rather call a hippie when everything hits the fan. Get government out of dealing with education, childhood obesity and the enviornment. Stop using the military for sociological experiments and if we're in a war don't micromanage their every move. Kill your television, limit time on the computer and pick up a book. God's will be done and may He have mercy upon us all.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

12 hour school days? Extending the school year?

I don't fancy giving teachers more time to show my daughter how to put a condom on a cucumber. Found via at;

If Education Secretary Arne Duncan has his way, kids would be spending a lot more time at school — and a three-month summer would be a thing of the past.

Duncan joked with attendees at a luncheon at the National Press Club Tuesday in Washington that he would like schools to stay open 13 months out of the year. Then he told the audience of over 100 that he seriously supports longer school hours.

“In all seriousness, I think schools should be open 12, 13, 14 hours a day, seven days a week, 11-12 months of the year,” Duncan said. “This is not just more of the same. There would be a whole variety of after-school programs. Obviously academics would be at the heart of that. But you top it off with dancing, art, drama, music, yearbook, robotics, activities for older siblings and parents, ESL classes.”

He continued by explaining that the American school calendar is antiquated and must be modified so that American students can compete at the highest levels internationally.

“Most people realize that our current day is based on the agrarian economy, and we don’t have too many kids working out in the fields nowadays,” Duncan said. “Schools in countries that are beating us are going to school 25-30 days more than us. If you practice basketball five times a week, you’re gonna be better than the people who practice three times a week.”

Duncan, former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, also announced that 19 states are finalists for an estimated $3.4 billion of federal funding through President Obama’s Race to the Top education initiative.

Race to the Top is part of the Obama administration’s effort to offer incentives to higher performing schools.

“As you guys know, our world has changed, our economy has changed,” said Duncan. “The days of telling kids to go home at 2:30 and having mom there with a peanut butter sandwich, those days are gone. Whether it’s a single parent working one, two, three jobs or two parents working, the hours from 3 o’clock to 7 o’clock are a huge anxiety, and that’s why we have to keep our schools open longer.”

But Duncan explained that although he intends to use the leverage of the federal government to drive reform, he intends to give officials and teachers at the local level the flexibility to improve while also holding them accountable.

“Our blueprint envisions a more humble, realistic federal role in education reform,” Duncan said. “We are a long way in our nation’s capital from our nation’s classrooms. One-sized-fits-all remedies from the federal government don’t work. In fact, one-sized-fits-all remedies tend to stifle creativity at the local level.”

Race to the Top proposes raising academic standards, attracting and keeping the best teachers, improving statewide data systems and promoting collaboration between business leaders and educators.

“Nothing moves people as quickly as the opportunity for more funding, especially at a time like today,” Duncan said.

The 19 states chosen Tuesday will travel to Washington during the second week of August for a peer review session that will assess their educational plans. Delaware and Tennessee have already received $600 million to implement their own school reform plans as a part of Race to the Top.

Duncan highlighted what he describes as a “quiet revolution” that he feels will reform the current education system.

“This quiet revolution is driven by motivated parents who want better educational options for their children,” said Duncan. “They know how important education is to succeed and compete in the global economy, they insist on the very best, and they are willing to sacrifice to make it happen.”

Duncan also envisions a system in which schools’ structural resources such as libraries, gymnasiums and pools are shared among and are more accessible to the community.

“They don’t belong to you, me or the principal. They belong to the community,” Duncan said. “We need to keep schools open longer to where schools become the center of the neighborhood and part of family life. And when the family is learning together, students do very, very well.”

IMO this could be either a good or bad thing. At the top of this post I listed something negative. But as a stay-at-home parent I'll say my housekeeping goes into slow-mo when the kids are home. Gone are the days when we could give them some milk and a plate of cookies after school, then send them out to play sandlot baseball (I'm old enough to remember doing that too!). Instead we have to monitor our kids MUCH more closely than heretofore. Since two of mine are autistic, the attention required is greater.

Had they somewhere safe to go, where they'd be constructively engaged (music lessons, dancing, art & crafts) we'd all be a lot happier. I'd also get ahead of the dust bunnies around here.

So what determines if my girl is learning how to quilt vice how to rubberize fruit & veggies? Parental involvement at the school board level. We get what we work for.

How many stories have appeared in the blogosphere about some idiocy occurring at a school? Quite a lot. How often do those situations get resolved favorably when the local parents band together to express their outrage? Same answer. Not all of the time, but MOST of the time.

The idiot libs and their allies in the teacher unions WILL try all kinds of mischief, as evidenced by the idiocy I cited. More often than not they'll back off PDQ when the shit hits the public fan.

So if more parents are PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE we'd see less monkey business with our kids. It follows that should the school year and hours be extended, it will be districts where the parents strongly voice their opinions to the public servants on local school boards where the children will benefit most. Remember, like it or not those fools on any school board are servants of We The People. Hold them accountable, make them do their damned job and we'll get good results.

Slack off and look for the mischief to start.


Unknown said...

Once again the government misses the mark in identifying and solving the main problem plaguing American education: parenting. No matter how much money we throw at education, no matter how many programs we create, we cannot solve the problems facing American education until we convince parents that they MUST model and support in the home an interest in the value of achieving a quality education. I’m not talking homeschooling here, but holding their children accountable for their education after normal school hours, showing an interest in their work, monitoring the completion of homework, etc. The problem is, we cannot legislate good parenting.

We became the strongest nation in the world, won two world wars, and put a man on the moon with the school calendar that we currently use, with the school hours that we currently use. These changes are unnecessary, and quite frankly, we cannot afford them. From which foreign country will we borrow the money to pay for this program? It will be expensive, because the liberal democrats’ favorite supporter, the teacher’s union, will demand big dollars for these changes. And our country is broke.

Subvet said...

Arby you make a lot of good points, not the least of which is the cost of this potential extension of school time.

The true problem these days IS a lack of effective parenting. I've only to look as far as my two oldest children (raised by their respective mothers with little input from myself). The two of them are frankly, a couple of high school dropout losers. As I've told my oldest son, it wasn't his mother or I that suffered from the divorce. It was him!

But IF this increase in school length comes to pass then it's effect on our children will be determined by those parents most active on the local level. That was my own focus regarding this post.

Since the days of "Go outside and play with your friends, be back in time for supper." are gone then IMO a welcome alternative would be supervised activities at the school. The positive activities would be in the nature things already listed in the post.

As for paying for it, someday the gravy train enjoyed by teachers' unions and their lapdogs will come to a halt. Then maybe we'll start getting our moneys worth in the education field.

MightyMom said...

the school can be in session year round, or not, there's equal pros and cons to both for me....but extending the "school day" with a bunch of extracurricular activities?? hmmmmmm, gee. whaddaya know. That's ALREADY BEING DONE!

In HS in the fall Mon Tues Wed I went straight from school to band practice 3-5. On Thurs 3:30-7. Fri was the required game attendance.... all ball players had similar schedules....debate team had practice several days a week as did any and every other extracurricular activity!!!!

we don't need more crap to organize and fund, we need the parents/kids to take advantage of what's already there!!

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