“Answer: so the kids have more time to learn and because they’ll have less time to get into mischief, hang out around with bad influences–like family and neighborhood.” Or somethng “comonsensical like tht. What we must do (see Ed Week, 12/12 by Nora Fleming.) is ensure that “every minute of the schoo day is well spent.” (Idle hands, et al) Oddly enough, our “competitors” abroad have shorter student work days and hours, and more time for professionals to gather and hone their craft. And all this on a shorter/lesser budget! And more money spent on testing. And…. How will we know if time is well-spent? That’s where more and more testing fits in well. So, you can guess what the extra time will be devoted to…. I knew you’d get it.
In Finland the teachers teach four hours a day–ditto for Japan, et al. We don’t count lawyer’s hours or doctor’s hours by the minutes spent with clients–and they generally have one client at a time! So why do we think teachers can make sense of many students at a time and virtually no paid professional back-up and planning time?
How do we get away with such nonsense? Possibly by actually having lower expectations for students than we pretend, and thus also for teachers, than we pretend. It’s cheaper to write one script and have a thousand para-professionals “teach IT” in groups of 35–or, coming soon, on-line with one well-trained performer for a thousand or more students?
For that small number who will be educated to be the real ruling class of the future, we can develop another stream once the requirements are met?
I’m just guessing.
Those making policy are either stupid or malign–or some combination of both. Like Ronald Stephens of the National School Safety Council (I’ll check this) reminds us in a great video–school security plans developed by people who know neither schools, teachers nor students well will always end up a total waste of money. And worse.
Filed under: 2013 posts