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  • WHY SCHOOL? There’s all

    Filed at 7:52 am under by dcobranchi

    WHY SCHOOL? There’s all sorts of interesting info in this short National Post (Canada) article about some schools switching to a four-day week. First off, data indicate that there is no significant difference in student performance between those who attend four longer days and those on a traditional five day schedule. But, there are significant benefits:

    “It’s a no-brainer,” Teresa Rezansoff, board chairwoman, said of the 20% financial savings in custodial and busing costs. Also, teacher and student absenteeism in the first semester has dropped by 40%, student discipline problems by 80%, she said.

    Nevertheless, some parents and educrats are opposed.

    Victoria resident Jaime Matten, a single mother, juggles parenting and working full-time. Her seven-year-old daughter, Ellah, is in Grade 2.

    “I have a lot of sympathy for the school boards in that they’ve been dealt a crappy budget, but I don’t think this is going to assure the quality of education. It’s solving short-term budget problems and causing long-term problems…. It’s hard enough to make ends meet now, not to mention a full day of daycare.”

    Schools in Halifax and Prince Edward Island considered the four-day school week, but decided against it.

    “I see the four-day school week as an economic measure almost exclusively. I don’t think it stands the test of being good for kids academically,” said Bob Brown, superintendent of the Regina School Board.

    He said inconvenience on families is a real issue.

    So, we see the real reason for having public schools- “free” child care.

    This issue would make for an interesting debate: Parents of kids in the public schools would likely favor keeping the current system; parents of kids in private schools, homeschoolers, and empty-nesters would probably go the other way because of the significant tax savings. The deciding factor might be the teachers’ unions. Would they opt for the status quo or prefer to have the kids four days with one day for “teacher planning, professional development and some extra-curricular activities?”

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