Five states were to announce Monday that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.
Although I have no children about 90% of my property taxes goes to our local school system. I don’t really know much about just how my money is spent. But since my country road meets the State highway almost in front of the middle/high school I do see the buses come and go on a daily basis. It seems that they come in the morning between 8:00 and 9:00am and come again in the afternoon between 2:00 and 3:00pm. That is except for Friday when they appear at 2:00pm or even earlier.
Since I have only that metric to work with it seems that the schools in my State could use some additional hours too. Maybe I am just an old guy with my faulty memory but I seem to remember having to be in our small high school building about 7:45am for a class fifteen minutes later. The afternoon buses pull out after the last class ended at 3:30pm. We had seven fifty-five minute classes and a thirty minute lunch break.
The 1950s, when I was in school, seem like ancient times now. There were no computers, heck even calculators had not been invented yet! Forget the Internet, everything we needed to know was contained in a thirty volume set of books. Compared to today we needed to learn a lot less to make our way in the world. So, here I am wondering why I spent seven hours a day in the class room when kids today seem to be spending much less to learn much more? With all the additional stuff kids need to know how can that be??
I really don’t think kids are just smarter than they were in my day so why the shortened school day? The other thing that kind of gets me is that kids today seem to go on so many more field trips than we did. We, for the most part, spent our seven hours a day learning stuff in the class room. We didn’t go to the local shopping mall, they hadn’t been invented yet, to learn how to shop . We didn’t go to State parks to learn about nature; we did that with our families and we certainly didn’t go off to foreign countries as some do today. I really can’t recall of a single field trip I took in high school or grade school for that matter.
I really don’t know much about our local school system other than what I read in the local paper, most of that is just sports related, and when the buses come and go. But it sure does seem like kids just don’t spend much time in school anymore. I give a few thousand bucks every year to maintain a large newly renovated school building that sits idle most of the year. I sure wish I got more for my money.
School days, school day good old-fashion rule days……