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March 19, 2009

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I'm not entirely sold that more time in the classroom is needed. The time allotted needs to be more efficient. Starting the day when students are too tired to function properly wastes a good deal of that functionality. Even if only 100 of the 180 days were started with a yawn, that leaves a fifth of the total school year asleep at the desk.

Better engagement and a better night's rest would have made High School completely different for me, and I graduated from it in 02.

I agree with the report and with Jack's comments. This is a complicated issue: the connection between time and learning. I once signed up for a series of 5 tennis lessons, 1 hour each. Discovering that one of those lessons fell on a holiday, the instructor suggested we skip the holiday class and add ten minutes to our remaining 5 classes. We did. I'm not sure those extra minutes made me a better tennis player than if we had had the 6th class. Besides, between lessons I would have practiced what I learned in the previous lesson. Translated to classroom instruction, I think there's a lesson here. A few extra minutes of class spread over a year, in my opinion, doesn't equate to the learning that would occur in additional days of separate, teacher-prepared lessons, with study and homework in between. Just my thoughts.

..oops...correction to previous post. I signed up for six (6) lessons!

Here's a semi obvious question, Jack, in the 10 years that we have dropped below the 180 days, has there been any demonstratable decline in student proficiency? And if there's no evidence of a slide, why should we think that adding days would necessarily lead to an opposite result? A cynic would just see this as a MEA ploy for more members and higher pay for our already relatively highly paid public school teachers.

How about first asking and answering about what we're paying for what we're getting?

The reason for the dismal performance of students in public schools in MI and elswhere in the USA compared to their counterparts in many forign countries is not due to the number of instructional days, but rather due to the fact that public education in America has been hijacked by radical liberals who are pushing a social engineering agenda rather than an educational agenda. Our public school educators are driven to assure that students are well versed in sodomy, wicca, rights without responsibilities, and Democratic Party theology at the expense of math, science, basic reading & writing skills, and foreign language.

The above is utter nonsense; I have been married to an award-winning public school teacher for more than 30 years. No schools in Michigan teach any of the above. Whether we need stronger standards and better teaching of the basics is another question.

The above is total and malevolent nonsense;I have been married to an award-winning public school teacher for more than 30 years. None of those things are taught in any Michigan school. Whether we need to emphasize basic skills more is a legitimate argument.

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