Thursday, January 3, 2008

Oxymoron




Once again, I feel I must comment on the school system in this area, Volusia County and Florida in general. I am not sure where to start. How about the kids in Volusia County went to school 15 days in November, of those days they got out at 1pm on two days and 12 noon on one. Unlike most other school systems in the United States, most Florida schools got the entire week of Thanksgiving off, instead of Wed-Fri.

Enter in December....another 15 day month. Two early release days at 1pm and one at 12noon. They were then off for a whopping 16 days from December 22-Jan 7th. They go back the Monday and prmptly get out early on Wednesday, get off the following Monday and have early, early release on Wed the 23rd.

I am not sure how any child can retain anything with this schedule, or any teacher can make an impact. My children are very lucky to have two excellent, conscientious teachers at their elementary school. Others are not so lucky.

I am certainly not bashing teachers for the schedule the county puts forth, I understand these early and early early release days are for planning. BUT it is very hard for working parents to plan, I know that is not the teachers nor the school district's problem either, I am lucky enough to work at home and can be here for this crazy schedule, again, others are not so lucky.

Both my parents were public school teachers. Classes started at 8am. My father was at school at 730am each day, he had one planning period and a lunch period. He was at school each day til 4pm. He was involved in many "extra things". He sold basketball and football tickets and chaperoned school events each weekend. He had cafeteria duty and a homeroom. He taught summer school and tutored. I do not ever recall him bringing home a great deal of papers to grade or extra things to do. I do recall him joking about how he had the best part-time job ever. He was with us all summer and on all school vacations. I probably did not appreciate that at the time, but I do now that he is approaching 80 and I have my own children.

I have spoken to teachers here and in other school systems in this state and in other states and they all say they are being forced to teach "to the FCAT" or the other state standardized tests. IN order to meet the "no child left behind" guidelines our children's education is suffering.

Have you ever looked at the No Child Left Behind Act? Take a look at the link above and see if it makes sense. I am curious to see what others think? How do you feel about our schedule? I realize we are very lucky not to have snow days to deal with and that contributes to what seems like endless time off but it seems just when they go back to school and get in the routine, they are off again. Retention of information has to suffer.

Let me know what you think?

3 comments:

anna said...

Insanity. That is what I think about the schedule. RIDICULOUS.

The Hawkins Family said...

Don't get me started about school systems. My problems with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools aside, that is a pretty crazy schedule to put kids(and parents) through. As a dual income family we are pretty happy with our school system schedule.

Ann said...

Teachers do just teach the test in most schools anymore. No more teaching kids to think outside the box. Then we wonder why Americans are so damn stupid...

Not to mention the inability of teachers/schools to enforce proper behavior in schools anymore. My friend in Ohio has to contact the parents before she writes a student up. Student says the f-word. Think she is going to take the time to call the parents, get chewed out by them, then write him up? Ridiculous.