Calendar wars: Aren’t we fighting the wrong battle?

Like Cobb County, my local school district moves to a new “balanced” calendar next year with a shorter summer and two mid-year breaks.

And like many parents in Cobb, I am not thrilled.

A longer summer suits our family better than the abbreviated one. I didn’t object because I figured the new calendar may benefit some families.

But it’s probably a mistake for Cobb or other systems to promote their new balanced calendar as a boost to academics.

The research isn’t decisive that spreading out the same number of days over more months makes a large or lasting difference in how much students learn.

Both those in favor of the balanced and traditional calendars can cite reputable research to bolster their arguments.

The pro year-round camp points to Karl Alexander of Johns Hopkins University who found that disadvantaged children make no academic progress in the summer, a deficiency that he says reverberates throughout their schooling.

Alexander concluded that about two-thirds of the ninth-grade academic achievement gap between poor students and more advantaged peers can be explained by the differences in their summer experiences in elementary school, a period of loss that he calls the summer slide.

While low-income children begin school with lower achievement scores, Alexander found that they progress at about the same rate as their more affluent peers. But the summer break — when middle class kid go to art camp, swim team and museum trips — widens the gap.

Alexander found that poor children don’t have many learning-rich environments in their lives outside of school; their parents lack the wherewithal or resources to turn summer into a learning laboratory. The longer low-income children are away from school, the more they fall behind, he said.

The parents who prefer the traditional calendar cite the work of Ohio State University sociologist Paul von Hippel. While von Hippel agreed that the learning of poor children slows down in the summer, he didn’t see any lasting benefit to those students from a year-round schedule.

Using national data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, von Hippel found year-round calendars are somewhat ineffective. Yes, children do learn more quickly during the summer, but they learn more slowly at other times of year, said von Hippel.

He found that over a 12-month period, the children in year-round programs learn no more than children following a traditional school calendar. His conclusion: Year-round calendars don’t counter the summer slide; they just redistribute it across the rest of the year.

The reason may be that the key is not when children sit in a class but what they do while in class.

Yet, academic achievement has never been uppermost in any setting of school calendars. With its long summer break, the traditional calendar is an artifact of a time when children were needed to work the fields.

Nor are academics a major consideration in most of the tinkering today with the standard 180-day school year.

If academics were the priority, the school calendar would be longer, says Harris Cooper, a Duke University professor who leads the national research on year-round schools.

“I think our kids would be going to school for more days,” says Cooper. “And there would be flexibility in the length of the school day so that kids would be spending more time in school each day. But no matter how much time kids are in school, what you do with that time is the most critical aspect.”
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So why switch to a balanced calendar if enhanced student performance isn’t a certain outcome?

My own system touted the change as a recruitment tool, saying teachers liked it better. While there’s no hard data on whether school calendars affect teacher retention, Cooper says teachers appear to prefer the more frequent and shorter breaks to the longer summer.

In the end, it’s the parents who often become the biggest fans of year-around and balanced calendars, says Cooper.

“If you look at parent satisfaction in districts where this has been in place for a while, the parents are quite satisfied,” he says. “For middle-class families where both parents work outside of the home, this is a better fit. Schools have always responded to broader economic and lifestyle issues. If we were constructing a school calendar from scratch, there would be no way that we would pick the one we have now.”

That many parents tout the opportunities provided in balanced calendars to take cheaper trips to Disney during the fall and spring breaks doesn’t bother Cooper.

“If somebody else argues that this calendar prevents them from taking a vacation in August,” he says, “somebody else can say that they prefer it because they can take cheaper vacations to Disney in October.”

91 comments Add your comment

d

November 22nd, 2009
8:20 am

Yeah, who the heck really wants to be in hot, humid, central Florida in the middle of August when it’s much nicer in October. Seriously though, no matter what happens, someone’s gonna be ticked off. Either, “they took our summer” or “the kids and teachers need a mental break.”

e

November 22nd, 2009
8:53 am

I agree with d. Setting a calendar is a no-win task.

I also agree with Maureen that using the academic achievement for this change is a bogus. But, I think it is good for both kids and teachers to have a week off at a couple of times during the school year – I mean I can actually sleep in a bit instead of waking up my kids at 5:30…

Cere

November 22nd, 2009
9:09 am

So send them to camp! This is not rocket science. If it’s proven that “advantaged” children learn (and grow) more over the summer due to camp and family vacation experiences – then instead of sending poor children to “more of the same” school (torture in summer) spend the same amount of money sending them all to a camp experience. The learning one experiences at camp is vast – but there is no denying that physical activity and game-playing boosts learning. Ask any pediatric occupational therapist – or a Discovery Toys rep.

Sadly, many of our education leaders and poor parents stick to the wrong-headed belief that the only way to learn is in the classroom. Support summer camps! They are contributing so much to children’s well-being, and I guarantee, parents who believe in summer camps will pull their children out of public school if the public school sets a calendar that makes camp impossible.

oldtimer

November 22nd, 2009
9:55 am

As a teacher, I liked the newer calander my last souple of years in the classroom, but, more for me than the kids. I was tired and needed a break. What I found was the day or two before each break was kind of “lost” in excitement of a break. The day or two after was “lost” getting back in a routine. And attendence on each end was down somewhat as there are always families who want to get a jump on everyone else. There is something to be said for getting a routine going and just get it done, as when nI was a kid. School was Labor Day to Memorial Day with shorter breaks. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is hard also, as everyone is just so busy and teachers and kids get tired then sick. Homework just cannot get done and school work is just not as exciting.
I guess there is no great way to manage this time and learning is not alsways a priority.

Courtney

November 22nd, 2009
10:35 am

Traditional Calendar works best. You should not destroy our schools b/c you would rather spend money on liquor than camp for your children.

ScienceTeacher671

November 22nd, 2009
10:38 am

I wonder if anyone has yet come up with a calendar that would have a semester ending just before Thanksgiving, with a long break through Christmas and New Year?

ScienceTeacher671

November 22nd, 2009
10:39 am

@Courtney: Liquor?? Where’d that come from?

Devil's Advocate

November 22nd, 2009
10:54 am

Maureen- the postnapper got mine!

Devil's Advocate

November 22nd, 2009
11:01 am

@ScienceTeacher671 -Interesting idea…the first I’ve heard in a while. And because of the length of time involved, childcare facilities and camps facilities could plan (organize and structure) for it like they do for summer camps. It would need thinking and planning…but at least it’s a start, someone thinking of alternatives… thanks!

David S

November 22nd, 2009
11:07 am

You want a real alternative. How about eliminating government involvement in education entirely. Then you could send your child to the school of YOUR choice. One that meets your scheduling needs, not the governments.

But that would require you to be fully responsible for the costs of raising your child instead of socializing the costs (in other words, passing them on to everyone else). Couldn’t have that.

Now of course there will be a chorus of parents all upset at the idea that every other parent will be irresponsible so we all have to be victimized to cover for them. Why don’t you worry about your own child and realize that central planning of anything doesn’t work. Education is just too important to leave to government bureaucrats.

Devil's Advocate

November 22nd, 2009
11:44 am

David S. You have no idea what I am willing to do..about anything-please keep your angry assumptions to yourself.

Patty

November 22nd, 2009
12:58 pm

The balanced calendar is a wonderful thing. We only got to enjoy it for four years while our daughter was in high school but speaking from a home schooling (which we did for 7 years) and conventional schooling (12 years) perspective, the balanced calendar is most amendable to family life.

Patty

November 22nd, 2009
12:59 pm

D

November 22nd, 2009
1:11 pm

I’m a teacher and I’m in favor of it. No matter how much the public thinks that teaching is an easy job because we get summers off, it is the hardest job I’ve ever had. It is very mentally taxing. Most people get to leave work and not think about it until they arrive back in the office again the next day. For teachers, we work nonstop. We can’t show up unprepared so we have to plan out every single second we possibly can every day. I can’t remember the last time I worked any less than a 9.5 hour day at the school – and then I go home with more work. So with no breaks until Thanksgiving, we need a break.

And it’s not just teachers. I can also sense my students getting restless. We (and by that, I mean, legislators) keep telling us to take away things like PE and recess so these kids are expected to sit and not move for 7 hours straight for several months at a time. They are CHILDREN. They have physical needs to move and grow (not to mention how much that benefits their mental capabilities).

I think these parents need to realize what their children (and teachers) go through. I think people are just afraid of change and don’t want to sit back and realize that in the grand scheme of things, changing the year to a “balanced” calendar is not a big deal.

Critical care nurse mom

November 22nd, 2009
1:38 pm

You know, I’ve been both a teacher and a critical care nurse…yes, teachers have it tough…but nurses have life threatening situations, split second decisions to make, death and dying regularly, 300-400 pound patients to move in and out of bed,…and yes, we work 12 hour shifts and our patients are always with us. Our licenses are on the line daily. Lots of other public servant positions are just as exhausting and demanding. I’m sorry- change the calendars all you want if it is for the kids’ education…but PLEASE…”we’re so tired and we work so hard” just doesn’t hold water with me. Nurses get at MOST 3 to 4 weeks off in any given year. And they hold your loved ones’ lives in their hands.

Cere

November 22nd, 2009
1:40 pm

“Most people get to leave work and not think about it until they arrive back in the office again the next day.”

That is sooooooo not true. But I digress. The breaks certainly would be nice for teachers – but who in the heck is going to look after the kids during multiple short breaks throughout the school year?

Philosopher

November 22nd, 2009
2:30 pm

@Cere: fom what I can gather from other blogs concerning this matter…they don’t CARE what the childcare issues are and do not CARE what is to become of the kids during those weeks. It’s not a problem for the teachers and “since when did we expect public schools to be babysitting services?”. At least that’s the jist of what is offered. Haven’t heard too much from parents that both work about this issue, though…maybe because they are too busy working to feed and clothe the kids to vent here…?

Philosopher

November 22nd, 2009
3:11 pm

Cere: The prevailing attitude throughout other blogs concerning this issue is “what do WE care?” It’s not our problem, it is yours. I have seen absolutely no concern on any teacher’s part about the kids …pretty loud and clear “since when did public schools become responsible for childcare?”

e

November 22nd, 2009
3:16 pm

Cere,

maybe parents ???

Philosopher

November 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm

Cere, what did I tell you?

Cobb parent

November 22nd, 2009
4:07 pm

I am so tired of all those against the calendar saying- “there is no research to show that it boosts academics”. Well, as parent for the balanced calendar, I would like to ask ” Where is the research that shows a traditional calendar is better for student achievement”. Also, for all the parents who bellyache about not being asked- YOU WERE! Pay attention to the website and the phone calls.

f

November 22nd, 2009
4:46 pm

Philosopher,

Your point is???

g

November 22nd, 2009
4:47 pm

I’m not a teacher, and I am a parent. I expect to take care of my kids when they aren’t in schools. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?

Philosopher

November 22nd, 2009
5:16 pm

g: just curious…Do you have to take off from work during these “off” weeks when the kids are off?

Philosopher

November 22nd, 2009
5:23 pm

@f: MY point is…No teacher in these blogs has shown any compassion. empathy, or concern for the welfare of the kids during these weeks, for the problems that parents face with this added burden, or even for whether or not it helps the kids in any way. I say that speaks pretty loud…all by itself.

oldtimer

November 22nd, 2009
6:56 pm

Those who listen to teachers: One thing to keep in mind they only get paid to work 190 days a year. I, for one, think the year should be extended and maybe longer days, but we would have to really rethink how we spend that time and teachers would be paid accordingly.

f

November 22nd, 2009
7:05 pm

So, you don’t think it’s enough that those teachers deal with your “burdens” 180 days a year? You don’t think those teachers show compassion and concern for the students when they are under their care for 180 days a year?

You are such a whiner.

ScienceTeacher671

November 22nd, 2009
7:27 pm

Philosopher, I don’t get it. Who looks after your kids during the summer and during Christmas break? Why wouldn’t they be available to look after them during the short breaks?

When my children were small, I worked in the private sector, and got 3 weeks of vacation each year. We used a facility called a “daycare” and paid them a weekly fee to watch the children. As the children got older, they attended daycare in the summer and after school (sometimes also before school), and when the school had vacation days that weren’t general holidays, like “Spring Break” or teacher planning days, the daycare was also available to watch the children if we didn’t take vacation during that time.

I’d have been very happy if my children’s school had implemented a calendar like this. Before the children started school, we preferred vacationing in September or October rather than in summer, because the weather was nicer, most places weren’t as crowded, and frequently we could get off-season rates.

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to feel compassionate about; instead I feel envious.

Devil's Advocate

November 22nd, 2009
7:34 pm

@Philosopher – I think what you are seeing by the “we’re not a babysitting service” is less about teachers not caring about what happens to the kids during those off weeks, and more about the attitude that SOME parents have that school is free childcare. If you poll teachers, you’ll probably also find that the “free childcare parents” are the ones with the most disruptive children as students.

I know it’s hard for middle class parents who were raised to value education and both instill that value in their children as well as support their academics at home to believe, but there is a sizable portion of society that does not feel that way – and their kids are often sitting in the desk next to your child and disrupting your kid’s education – meanwhile you’re probably paying more in property taxes.

pay attention folks

November 22nd, 2009
7:51 pm

To answer Maureen’s original question….”Aren’t we fighting the wrong battle?” The answer is yes.
The battle we should be fighting is over block scheduling in high schools.
Parents of elementary kids just don’t get that block scheduling is THE resason for early August start dates. Without block, school could start whenever.
Push your school boards to re-evaluate block scheduling. That is what is putting six year olds back in the classroom in early August.

Florida Teacher

November 22nd, 2009
7:52 pm

Our school systems tried this for several years under the same guise that less of summer break aided retention. One year the students actually started on Monday, July 31st. I have found the same thing that “oldtimer” stated that the few days before students were in the excitement phase and then coming back they had to be reviewed for a couple of days to get back in the routine. Many parents take a few days before and few days off to get the head start or to extend the break. It seems that parents send kids to school when it’s convenient then write elaborate letters about how this trip to Disney in California or to North Dakota is going to be educational.

Finally parents in Florida started an organization called “Save our Summers” and lobbied the legislature to go back to a traditional summer. They finally passed a bill saying no district could start more than 2 weeks before Labor Day. After 3 years some districts have found a loop hole and are starting 3 weeks before Labor Day.

I do enjoy the breaks, but I need to break in the summer to renew my mental energy before the new students come. For kids, the shorter breaks and a longer summer seems to work best because you have to review in the beginning of the year anyway.

Cere

November 22nd, 2009
9:17 pm

The truth of the matter is – there are hundreds of single-parent households where there isn’t money for day care services on a random calendar. It’s very nice that this calendar allows for vacationing at more interesting times, however, I’m pretty certain that 10 weeks in summer, 2 weeks during the holidays and another week during spring break, along with MLK holiday, President’s Day and Thanksgiving – there are plenty of opportunities to vacation.

The calendar, as is, allows people with little means (and often little support) to place children in YMCA programs and other similar programs that traditionally operate over the summer and during the breaks. So many working people do not get paid a dime when they take time off – and this greatly effects their children’s well-being. You can go down the path of arguing responsibility, however, this is reality and we need to address it — not just make random changes that leave so many households in a quandary.

pay attention folks

November 22nd, 2009
9:27 pm

Cere,
The logic that YMCA camps will only run during the summer just isn’t there. YMCA’s, churches and the like will rise to the occasion and offer camps during the breaks. School will still be in session for 180 days. We’re not talking about more weeks off–just different weeks off, and childcare will be available. Because we’re talking about the same number of weeks off, the cost for childcare should not be affected. Part of the reason Cobb felt pushed to decide on a calendar was because community groups were asking for a calendar to be set so that they could plan their programs.

Philosopher

November 22nd, 2009
9:46 pm

f- you want to shout ” whining” in other blogs and it’s still bogus… a different opinion from yours is not whining. Please hold off writing until you can do something besides name-calling. And I certainly never said you had it easy..putting words in my mouth is bogus, too.
Someone needs to care about the problems these schedules impart on parents and kids…and work together to come up with solutions. It does not say much for the teaching profession that they blatantly scoff at the needs of parents and kids, demand to get only what they want and make no effort whatever to work WITH the public…we are your employers, by the way.
And teachers, this stubborn, mean-spirited attitude will backfire one day when parents have had enough of it. Pay close attention to the rise in charter schools and home schooling…why do you think this movement is growing so fast? Because the public is growing increasingly unhappy with you.

Devil's Advocate

November 22nd, 2009
10:02 pm

@Philosopher – I tried posting earlier, but I think it got eaten by the blog monster. My point was that teachers aren’t necessarily being cavalier about childcare; they are responding to the many parents who treat public school as just that. Middle class parents who value education and teach their children the same have trouble believing that there are parents out there who don’t. Unfortunately it’s true. The mean-spirited attitude you refer to is probably the result of being bashed over and over and over again just because they are teachers – you read this blog; you must see it. The board asked the teachers for input – they gave it. Fifty one percent of the 50 percent who responded voted for this calendar. There are as many teachers as unhappy with it as some parents are. The board is responsible for the vote, and the last last time I checked NONE of them are Cobb county teachers (they can’t serve on the board if the teach in the county).

unhappy teachers

November 22nd, 2009
10:30 pm

Philosopher,

You somehow seem to think that this calendar is what every teacher wanted, and you are very wrong. Many of us have to work during the summer to support our families. Spreading a school year does nothing to improve my opportunities to obtain another job. There aren’t a one-week job in September and February, and many employers want to hire someone who can work longer than 10 weeks – it’s actually less for teachers if you don’t know.

So, I wish you stop blaming teachers for this calendar. There are many teachers who are happy about this new calendar as there are parents who are happy about it. There are some teachers who aren’t happy about it as parents like you aren’t. Then, there are many teachers who really don’t care about the calendar that much, but would rather not be thought of as child-care providers.

Leigh

November 22nd, 2009
11:13 pm

Trust me – the length of the summer break has nothing to do with how much students retain or forget. If students learn something, and not simply memorize it, then they know it. If education would stop this feel good curriculum and concentrate on actually teaching, then our students would not rank 19th out of 21 countries in math and science. Kids need to learn to read and spell (phonics), write (in cursive), and be able to compute with accuracy and speed. They need to play outside at least 30 minutes, and have a healthy lunch. None of this is taking place in the current school environment. Students have become guinea pigs for any and every ‘new and improved’ way to learn. Our graduation test is embarrassingly simple, and kids are proud because they passed. What’s going to happen when they can’t get a job because they can’t read, write, or compute?

high school teacher

November 23rd, 2009
5:57 am

Courtney, are you asserting that all low imcome adults are alcoholics and therefore can’t provide for their children? Let me assure you that is not the case.

Critical Care Nurse, I am not disagreeing with you about the rigorous nature of your job, and I am not getting into a “my job is harder than your job” battle. Admittedly, I couldn’t do what you do. However, I thought that nurses only worked three 12 hour shifts a week. Is this still the case? If so, then you have more breaks built into your work week. Of course,you also have to catch up on your sleep, so I don’t know how that affects the amount of “free time” that you have.

Our district had a balanced calendar a few years ago. I have to be honest: as much as I loved that week off in October, I never could get back into a routine until January. I was not as organized. I think that the term “balanced calendar” is a misnomer; having a random couple of weeks off during traditional school time is not balancing. I would love to try a real balanced calendar, with 9 weeks on and 3 weeks off (and a 6 week summer), to see if there are any academic gains. Perhaps a charter school could offer this schedule so that parents could choose to follow this pattern.

ScienceTeacher671

November 23rd, 2009
7:53 am

@pay attention folks – excellent point. We also have to wonder just how much money school boards are saving to continue with block scheduling under NCLB, when DOE’s data, as well as several reputable studies by folks such as ACT and the College Board, show that test scores are generally lower under block scheduling.

Critical Care Nurse

November 23rd, 2009
8:34 am

high school teacher_ thank you for your calm, concerned approach to these issues- it’s refreshing. Nurses are required to work 3 12 hour shifts and for many of us, more is asked and/or required and/or needed to make ends meet. And most nurses are basically worthless emotionally and physically on their off days. It’s not about who works harder, though, and I’m sorry if that is how it was perceived…it’s about that argument not being legitimate as a reason for this calendar. If it were legitimate, though, I would say that a nurse given even 8 weeks off in the summer (not to mention the September, February, November and April breaks, would be one hell of a great nurse and happy person. We’d probably be healthier, too. as studies are showing that many of our injuries occur as a result of exhaustion.
All, I , and I think most parents want, is reasonable dialogue (preferrably, BEFORE the decision is made) concerning the issues and a sense that teachers (and, yes, the BOE) understand and care about the needs of the children and parents. Sadly, that is not apparent in these blogs.

Reality Mom

November 23rd, 2009
8:41 am

@ HighSchool Teacher–I also am a nurse and its (4) 12 hour shifts with rotating weekends. Every job has its challenges when trying to balance it with family. Because my job requires me to work weekends, should I be able to say that no kids activities should happen on the weekend because I have to work? Or can’t start till after 7pm when I get off?

I provide for my child the best way that I know how. It’s car pooling, lost sleep and the stress of knowing that I couldn’t be at ( fill in the blank) because I had to work. The land lord and the grocery store must be paid every month.

Critical Care Nurse

November 23rd, 2009
8:43 am

OH, and what we wouldn’t give to know what year we can have Christmas off! My son was 8 years old before we had Christmas on Christmas Day!…(just a little aside….:)

Warrior Woman

November 23rd, 2009
9:00 am

The balanced calendar is a horrid invention that penalizes performing students and parents that take responsibility for their children’s growth and development outside the classroom. It minimizes the possibility for non-school learning, such as summer camps, service learning through mission trips, travel, etc. It does nothing positive, but just panders to teachers who are whining for more breaks through the school year.

Warrior Woman

November 23rd, 2009
9:02 am

And @ pay attention folks – the cost of childcare increases dramatically, because there is a registration fee for each session of camp, daycare, etc. Now instead of 1 fee for the summer, parents will have to pay a fee for each break.

Reality 2

November 23rd, 2009
9:27 am

I don’t see what difference a balanced calendar creates for the cost of childcare – kids still go to school 180 days. As for non-school learning opportunities, I agree with somemone else who mentioned all these other private “providers” will adjst their calendars – after all they want your money in any way they can get to. Churches will adjust their mission trips. I don’t know of ANY camp that take kids in from the Day 1 of their summer break to the last day of the break. It is just some weeks during the break. So, if they are offering a 4-week camp, that cost shouldn’t change, and the calendar shouldn’t affect the total cost of childcare needed for the summer So, I don’t buy the argument that a balanced calendar will minimize the learnin opportunities.

Finally, if you want the school system to run a childcare service using the school buildings, maybe you should suggest that to the BOE – they can probably use some additional sources of money.

Tony

November 23rd, 2009
10:05 am

When it comes to education, we frequently argue about the wrong things. The balanced calendar is just one example. Issues like this one distract people away from solving real problems about education that would make a huge difference for all children. By spending our time dealing with issues rooted in emotions, we are fighting no-win battles. Other examples of emotional issues include homework, recess, block scheduling, and many other issues can create arguments that raise the roof but in the end will have little impact on achievement.

One of the important issues raised in this blog today has to do with access to summer activities. Poor children are frequently unable to participate in summer activities for a host of reasons. Camps, week-long theme programs, church related activities, and other opportunities cost money. Middle and upper income families are more than happy to get their children involved in these things. Poor, inner-city and rural families have a very difficult time joining in activities like these because they are not provided in the area, costs prohibit enrollment, or they simply don’t get invited.

So, if we know what one of the root problems is, what should we do about it? Here is where our arguments get out of hand. Too many people adopt the attitude that it is “not my responsibility” to provide for others. Another attitude that is part of the problem is the one from those that think “the government should provide this for my children.” Neither attitude benefits the children. Children need to learn the value of learning and they get this from their parents. Parents should make efforts to provide opportunities for their children. In turn, those of us with the means to do so should take responsibility to create ways for the poor children to have access to quality programs.

Otherwise, we are all just blowing a lot of hot air.

really? seriouslyl?

November 23rd, 2009
10:17 am

I am truly disappointed at some of the comments about “whining” teachers on this blog. I know that some of these commenters have never spent a day in a teacher’s shoes, and therefore dismiss teachers’ input as baseless.

From a true perspective – students lose traction around breaks. Already, my kids have been squirrely for the past week in anticipation of Thanksgiving break. Several students have informed me they will not be here for the Monday and Tuesday beforehand. Teachers lose so much time before and after breaks based on parent travel, student retention, and the like. I’m not opposed to the balanced calendar, but I am opposed to someone telling me how my job is without them actually having experience as an educator.

Gwinnett HS Teacher

November 23rd, 2009
10:59 am

Critical Care Nurse – I don’t recall seeing any post on this blog stating that our job is harder than yours. The next time you’re at work, see if you can get one of your colleagues to help you remove that chip from your shoulder. And, unless I’m in the wrong place, isn’t this an education blog?

Maureen Downey

November 23rd, 2009
11:23 am

Folks, I have to respond here that Get Schooled is an education blog, but it is open to anyone who wants to comment. I like the mix of teachers, administrators and parents – and the occasional student who stops by – as all have something to contribute. So, I am delighted to have critical care nurse and Gwinnett HS Teacher and anyone else drop in and share their ideas.
Maureen

ScienceTeacher671

November 23rd, 2009
11:34 am

@Tony, I disagree with your contention that block scheduling is all about emotion and doesn’t affect achievement. There are a number of reputable studies showing that achievement is usually significantly less on block schedules.

@Critical Care Nurse – there are many police & fire & EMTs, industrial workers, and other jobs that work swing shifts and holidays. Some of those people in those jobs are married to teachers, FWIW.

For everyone else, I’m not in Cobb County, but it sounds as if there were plenty of opportunities for discussion before the new schedule was passed. Some people either didn’t pay attention beforehand, or are disappointed that their side lost.