Cobb calendar wars flare up: It is time to just a pick a starting date and stick to it?

I am not sure how parents in Cobb County are supposed to plan their lives with this continued uncertainty about the school calendar.

I’ve been fascinated to watch the Cobb calendar battles as my system adopted the same “balanced” calendar and my twins go back this year Aug. 2. But Decatur is not changing back, and there doesn’t seem to be any momentum to do so among parents.

Full disclosure: I don’t like the Aug. 2 starting date. No profound reason except it cuts short the summer, and I am not a fan of the September and February breaks. But I have adapted. In Decatur, the more contentious issue now is the starting time of classes at the high school, where some parents are petitioning for a later first bell, reflective of the research that teens do better when schools begins later in the morning.

Cobb kids would have gone back with Decatur but the school board, under the influence of newly elected members, junked Cobb’s three year commitment to a balanced calendar halfway through the first year.

Now the AJC is reporting that the board will reconsider the calendar. After terse exchanges Wednesday at a board session, the board voted to consider the calendar later this month at the insistence of board member David Banks.

Banks proposed a third new calendar for Cobb, with an August 8 start date and the same weeklong breaks in September and February as well as the two-week winter break. However, his concept requires extending the school day by 10 minutes or so to ensure kids are in class enough. (I am also not a fan of compensating for the loss of full days by tacking on 10 minutes. Haven’t seen any research that shows this is a fair trade in terms of student learning.)

In any event, I would think that a new calendar would not be put in place until 2012-2013 as Cobb parents already have plans in place. So, there could be another six months of this battle. (Posters are saying that Banks wants the change to take place this year, but it seems insane to approve a new starting date six weeks out and expect parents, teachers, bus drivers, food service workers and maintenance folks to walk away from travel plans, vacations, airline tickets and camps to show up earlier. I can’t see a change until 2012 given what is at stake.)

According to the AJC:

The Cobb school board will consider a new school calendar at the June 23 meeting, following a vote at Wednesday’s work session to add it to the agenda. Earlier this year, a divided 4-3 school board voted to ditch the balanced calendar and its earlier school start date for a traditional format. After several attempts to revisit the vote, board member David Banks succeeded Wednesday by proposing a third calendar, which would combine elements of the two. The measure passed 3-3, with traditional calendar advocate Kathleen Angelucci absent.

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

67 comments Add your comment

Katie

June 9th, 2011
10:07 am

I agree with the “pick something and stick to it” sentiment – the people who suffer the most from an inconsistent schedule are the students.

Dr NO

June 9th, 2011
10:08 am

Just goes to prove the ole cliche’ “too many cooks spoil the soup”.

Tad Jackson

June 9th, 2011
10:57 am

I believe a charactaristic childen and young people (ultimately) appreciate in their family and community leaders is decisiveness. After all ideas and suggestions and coversation is over … decide … stick to it … move on … do great things … thank you very much.

http://www.adixiediary.com

NY Teaching Vet

June 9th, 2011
11:01 am

I heard Banks wants his calendar used for the upcoming school year. Is he going to reimburse parents for whatever nonrefundable childcare plans they’ve made for the week of August 8th?

South Cobb parent

June 9th, 2011
11:05 am

It’s unthinkable that the board should change the 2011-2012 calendar, but there was not any confidence, and a lot of joking, at the end of the year at our school that we knew for sure when the first day of school was. That’s the level of distrust the board has created with their surprises.

Personally, I can see the advantages of traditional and balanced calendars, but I do think the balanced calendar makes teachers’ lives better. They have no flexibility during the work day to conduct personal business, make calls or attend medical appointments. Periodic weeks off help. They cannot wait nine months to attend to their personal lives. Don’t say they can do it over Christmas or Thanksgiving. What’s open?

People need to remember that teachers have no lunch “hour”. Lunch is more like 20 minutes. They cannot arrive late or leave early without finding someone to cover their classes. Their work day is not flexible, so I don’t mind if we go to the balanced calendar if it gives our district a boost in recruiting quality candidates.

Active in Cherokee

June 9th, 2011
11:07 am

This situation demonstrates why quick, knee-jerk decisions are typically not a good thing when dealing with education (reference RTTT, Blended Math, and tons of other new fads). The Cobb Co. Board originally planned for the three years with good purpose, it gave the county, parents, and businesses time to gather legitimate data on whether it is working. This gathering of data could also help the system make modifications that answered some of the issues on both sides of the argument. Alas, another knee jerk reaction causes huge changes in education.

Personally I like the balanced schedule as it is used here in Cobb Co. The earlier start date is a little akward but the breaks more than make up for it. I believe students are generally more well rested and able to learn without hitting their ‘limits’ so quickly. It has also been proven in numerous studies that the shorter summer break is better for students – especially those in lower socio-economic siuations (as they are not typically acdemically challenged over the summer break). Hmmm….this decision seemed to be pressured by E. Cobb parents and the rumor of Six Flags/White Water involvment. As usual -follow the money.

Mikey D

June 9th, 2011
11:11 am

@Maureen
Yes there would be a revolt for most of the reasons you list, but probably not for teacher contracts having already been signed… In my system, for the 3rd straight year we signed contracts that did not list a starting date, number of days worked, or salary schedule. They simply said you have a job, but we’ll let you know later when and where you’ll work and for how much compensation. When teachers complained, they were simply told, “Don’t like it? Don’t sign it.”

Maureen Downey

June 9th, 2011
11:12 am

@NY, There is no way Cobb could approve a calendar change at the end of June to go into effect six weeks later. The parents in Cobb would rightfully revolt. And I assume teacher contracts have already been signed and food services, transportation etc. Cobb would have to get thousands of people to change their plans.
Maureen

NY Teaching Vet

June 9th, 2011
11:13 am

Maureen, a friend forwarded me Bank’s Grapevine letter from May 31st. Banks wrote:
“I have asked the Board Chair to put on the June Board Agenda a proposed modified school calendar for the 2011-2012 school year. The following email has been sent to the Chair. I believe, as a Board member, my attempt to resolve this issue is open and transparent for the benefit of our students and teachers”. Maybe his proposal at the meeting was for 2012-2013. You are correct, though, there would be a major revolt – and adding 10 minutes to the school day is not a good solution.

Garrett Goebel

June 9th, 2011
11:22 am

As with most things it is change itself is hard. However, one of the hardest things with Decatur’s “balanced” calendar is that it is the exception to the norm among area school districts. Working parents and particularly those who are teachers or professors often have to work through the week long breaks when their children are off. And for families on tight finances, week long breaks can be more challenging than shorter breaks. I would be interested to hear from teachers who work under the “balanced” calendar how it affects their teacher work days and planning time.

Regarding the City Schools of Decatur DHS Start Time petition (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/csd_dhs_start_time), it was setup to support 2 action items which a BoE member wishes to put on the agenda at next Tuesday’s BoE meeting. -Which coincidentally provides a start time option matching the recommendation of the Decatur High School’s School Leadership Team. The 2nd action item proposes a cost savings measure which would more than cover the costs of adopting the proposed start times.

Active in Cherokee

June 9th, 2011
11:22 am

I forgot to mention one more plus for the ‘balanced calendar’ – Attendance (something that goes a long way in determining AYP) Cherokee Co. has seen massive improvements in both student and teacher attendance since going ot the balanced schedule. Better student attendance = more learning chances, AYP goals, and in theory better test scores. Better teacher attendance = saved money (less substitutes), more direct teaching, and less ‘busy work’. I believe this shows evidence of a well rested and willing to learn/teach student body and faculty. I don’t know Cobb’s attendance results from this year, but I bet similar results would have been seen if Cobb would have stayed on the calendar for three years and given everyody time to adjust.

It would be ridiculous for them to attempt to change (again) the start date now.

Enough already

June 9th, 2011
11:22 am

Maureen you are right, and furthermore, the majority of the Board will not vote for this change. The insanity needs to end. All this is serving to do is give false hope to those in the balanced calendar corner, and stir up distrust and frankly disgust toward this school board.

Enough already

June 9th, 2011
11:24 am

And by the way, David Banks IS trying to push through an August 8th start date for 2011-2012…a mere 43 days after the vote.

NY Teaching Vet

June 9th, 2011
11:25 am

@ Enough already – you are so right!! What they really should do is create a task force to study the issue next year and come up with a recommendation. That, however, might make sense…

NY Teaching Vet

June 9th, 2011
11:26 am

@ Active in Cherokee – yes, I believe attendance showed improvement this year in Cobb – both students and teachers.

EC Mom

June 9th, 2011
11:42 am

I could be wrong, but the impression I got from a recent David Banks newsletter is that he is proposing this change for the 2011-12 school year. A lot of parents I know are still holding out hope for a balanced calendar for 2011-12. I don’t have a strong preference for either calendar – each has aspects I like – but it is crazy to make changes to the 2011-12 calendar two months before the school year begins. Adding 10 minutes a day to cut the numbers of days of instruction is not a good idea in my opinion. How much extra material are teachers able to cover with an extra minute or two added to each class? I don’t see how it adequately makes up for full days of instruction.

@Active in Cherokee…the majority of East Cobb parents I know in the Walton and Pope districts strongly support the balanced calendar. There may be some East Cobbers actively working towards a traditional calendar, but I think you are off base saying that the change was made to appease East Cobb. The vast majority of EC parents I know voted in the survey to keep the balanced calendar and wrote to the Board in support of the balanced calendar.

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
11:44 am

Just curious….what recommendation or advice did YOUR School Council offer up to the principal and the Local BOE?
OCGA 20-2-86 “(k) The members of the school council are accountable to the constituents they serve and shall:

(1) Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues;

(4) Act as a link between the school council and the community;

(5) Encourage the participation of parents and others within the school community;
“(s) School councils are advisory bodies. The councils shall provide advice and recommendations to the school principal and, where appropriate, the local board of education and local school superintendent on any matter related to student achievement and school improvement, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO,
(1) School board policies;

(3) Curriculum and assessments;

(4) Report cards issued or audits of the school conducted by the Office of Student Achievement;

(5) Development of a school profile which shall contain data as identified by the council to describe the academic performance, academic progress, services, awards, interventions, environment, and other such data as the council deems appropriate;

(6) School budget priorities, including school capital improvement plans;

(7) School-community communication strategies;

(8) Methods of involving parents and the community;

(9) Extracurricular activities in the school;

(10) School-based and community services;

(11) Community use of school facilities;

(12) Student discipline and attendance;

Active in Cherokee

June 9th, 2011
12:04 pm

@ EC Mom – I apologize for basing my statement off rumors. I know the results of the surveys at most East Cobb schools did echo your sentiments. From an outsider’s perspective, it did often seem the loudest speakers to return to the ‘traditional’ calendar seemed to hail from affluent E. Cobb (evidence supported by the vote for some of the board members that enacted the change). Obviously with this issue no broad statments can be made about any geographic areas and ‘loudest speakers’ don’t always represent the majority.

Cobb Teacher

June 9th, 2011
1:05 pm

Angelusci (sp) was not there so it passed. When she shows up the same four with vote against it and the same three will vote for it. Why even bother trying. All they do argue with each other. I say throw them all out and start over.

another comment

June 9th, 2011
1:11 pm

And David Banks was too buzy vacationing in Hilton Head to bother to come in and vote for the Superintent job. He sure has alot of gall wasting tax payer money. My 16 year old daughter already has a job lasting into this week. She also has a job where she has to pick up kids from a private school and take them to their afternoon activities, so a 10 minute addition to the day doesn’t work either.

We will be moving to Fulton County where they have more sense. Were they go on the same calander as the Catholic Schools, so my child can work an after school Nanny job. Where we can go on summer vacations and go to our reunions up North. By the way my kids are in the top 10 or higher of the Cobb County students. They got the Presidents award.

I really don’t care what is best for lower income kids. It is your family wanting you to do better than they did. How do I know this because I did it. My mother never graduated from High School. I went to college using the Pell Grant. A Private College top 20 in my major University Undergrad. and a Full academic teaching assistantship a school top in my major for Grad School in Engineering. My family never ever took foodstamp, welfare or any of that even if they may have been eligible. There is something called pride. Our mother read to us. My father worked two jobs, until his body gave out at 42 from working two and he could only do one. Yes, we had the old embarrasing car, that the parents picked you up in at school. Yes, I was humiliated to live in a mobile home, but it was clean and well kept. My mother read to her much wanted 4 kids, that she didn’t have until her mid 30’s, everynight. When she complained about her lack of education, hindering her to either nanny or factory jobs, it pushed her girls to all complete college degrees. No one ever thought of taking a handout, except the Pell Grant and Student Loans that were paid back early.

SomewhereInCobb

June 9th, 2011
1:12 pm

According to the article in the MDJ, not only is Banks pushing for this calendar for the 2011-2012 year, but he has also stated that he could very well bring up the calendar issue AGAIN for the next year. This latter statement was cited as being made outside, after the meeting — the one in which he “promised” another board member that this would be the LAST time he would raise the calendar issue. Honestly, I don’t have a dog in this fight other than as a taxpaying citizen of the county, but I do have to wonder: what will it take to finally resolve this MESS one way or another? How much of a joke is CCSD now considered to be? Who is running the district — actual adults or the kids they’re supposed to be planning for? Sickening.

SomewhereInCobb

June 9th, 2011
1:17 pm

EC Mom

June 9th, 2011
1:32 pm

@Active in Cherokee, you are correct that at least a couple of the very vocal Georgians Need Summers people live in East Cobb. I believe two of them have children at Walton HS. I live in Walton district and I know a lot of parents in Pope district. The majority I know do indeed support the balanced calendar. I don’t think Scott Sweeny or the vocal Georgians Need Summers people represent the majority opinion in East Cobb, however they obviously played a large role in the calendar change.

thomas

June 9th, 2011
1:36 pm

I think it was pure madness that the Cobb board abandoned 3-year schedule in the middle of the first year. On the other hand, I also think it is even more ridiculous if the board kept changing the calendar every year. So, there should be a moratorium – no calendar change for 3 years, PERIOD. They can start discussing what calendar to adopt for the 2014-15 school year and start collecting data that might be used to make that decision. But, no change in calendar till then.

Cobb County Parent

June 9th, 2011
1:37 pm

Post 5 voters: please do NOT vote for David Banks again. Anybody who watches these meetings or has attempted to speak to this dim bulb knows that he is not totally there. And more importantly, I suspect he is just a puppet on a string, being fed strategy on how to be the most destructive. What a laughing stock this guy is. Whether you agree with the board or not on a particular item, this guy needs to go! I certainly will be voting for his opponent… whomever that will be.

Warrior Woman

June 9th, 2011
1:53 pm

At some point in the calendar debate, Cobb said teacher attendance improved, but not necessarily student. It depended on what time frame you measured. There were far more student absences in the early weeks of school, but less in the later weeks. If I can find the cite for this, I’ll post it.

East Cobb Parent

June 9th, 2011
1:54 pm

Banks continues to stir this pot giving fuel to a fire that would otherwise die. I have no respect for the man. Maureen please don’t give the man anymore fuel.

@ EC Mom – don’t know the parents you mentioned, but other than a few ES parents and one Walton Mom I haven’t heard anyone support the balanced calendar. Matter of fact, at the Walton meeting for rising 9th graders there was applause when the start date of Aug 15 was mentioned. For the record, my kids are not in Cobb schools any longer and we enjoy our later start date, especially last year when we had the pool to ourselves.

@ Active in Cherokee you should check your facts. Your super, when questioned on the absenteeism, stated the balanced calendar did NOT improve student or teacher absenteeism or performance.

For me, I deal in facts. The studies that David Banks bastardized to support the balanced calendar dealt with under performing urban areas. They increased the school days to 200 days with a strict ten weeks on and one week off. I wonder if the increased in performance had anything to do with the additional twenty days of instruction.

I know several teachers that enjoyed the breaks, but stated it was not in the best interest of the children. If this is really about the children then stick with the current calendar and move on.

On a personal note, I felt that a compromise would have gone over well had either this board or the previous attempted it. A four day weekend in October and Feb would have been nice. At this point Banks is grandstanding and should let the fire die.

Arch Dawg

June 9th, 2011
1:56 pm

Any calendar that has kids going to school throughout August is completly rediculous. Most school buildings in this State were not designed to be fully occupied during the hottest time of the year and don’t have Mechanical Systems that can efficiently cool the indoor environment. Also August usually has the most Code Red/Purple days of the year. Great time to gas up all the busses and jam up traffic!
This all seems like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. What was so wrong with the traditional Labor Day to Memorial Day calendar? Young kids could have a real summer, go to camp, etc… Older kids could get jobs and save up for College. I don’t see any purpose to this nonsense at all. And don’t give me the test scores/attendance/willingness to learn junk. Our schools have been better than they are now and were all under teh traditional calendar.

Warrior Woman

June 9th, 2011
2:03 pm

@ Active in Cherokee – You said “It has also been proven in numerous studies that the shorter summer break is better for students – especially those in lower socio-economic siuations (as they are not typically acdemically challenged over the summer break).”

This has not been proven. The research shows that breaks of ONE week are enough to harm retention. The balanced calendar has more breaks of 1 week or longer than the traditional calendar. Further, the studies showing a balanced calendar is better for subpar students also show that is only true if those students receive additional instruction during the breaks, which is not and was not occurring in Cobb.

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
2:07 pm

Who has attended their child’s school council meetings to weight in? What teachers asked their “teacher” rep to present concerns at the school council meetings?
This is exactly why parents and teachers are NOT recognized in the decision making process. School Councils are MANDATED by Georgia Law…it is a medium in which a consensus COULD be established and then taken to the LBOE for consideration. As it appears, everyone has an opinion, but nobody wants to exercise the laws and try to work within the laws…
and just in case you do not know…School Council have a majority of parents and a parent is the chair, NOT the principal.

East Cobb Parent

June 9th, 2011
2:08 pm

maureen, I’m stuck in the filter

catlady

June 9th, 2011
2:19 pm

What the heck, just do it like many families do–let the kids show up whenever it is best for their families. Teachers should be there every day, ready to “save” whoever shows up at whatever time (8 am is too early? Okay–drag in whenever you like. Or, you have to be at work at 8? Drop them off at 7:15 and we will have teachers come in early and babysit for you. Don’t want to apply for free lunch, or know you won’t qualify? We will let you “charge” all year and then the taxpayers will absorb the loss.

I ran into a mother and father of a sped kid Monday. The parents were jerking her around, screaming at her. I said, “Hello” since the girl was waving and calling to me, and went over and explained that I knew her from school. “School?” the mother snarled. “I don’t know why you &&%%$$# teachers have to have time off. The ^%%$#$#@ school shouldn’t shut down at all! I don’t know if I can stand another day of this #$%$ with her at home!” This was after school had been out one week.

NY Teaching Vet

June 9th, 2011
2:24 pm

Warrior Woman – you are correct that the balanced calendar breaks are advantageous for at-risk students IF remediation is offered during the break. It is doubtful that would be in anyone’s budget right now, which is a shame.

NY Teaching Vet

June 9th, 2011
2:45 pm

@ Arch Dawg You stated that “Our schools have been better than they are now and were all under the traditional calendar”. Somehow I think it would be tough to prove causation there!

Many things have changed over the years that more likely have an effect on our schools being “better” in the old days than they are now. And I believe there are those who would even debate whether or not schools were better then.

justjanny

June 9th, 2011
3:00 pm

@Kathy II…School councils are advisory bodies. The councils shall provide advice and recommendations to the school principal and, where appropriate, the local board of education and local school superintendent on any matter related to student achievement and school improvement

The operative word is ADVISORY…school boards do not have to accept the advice!

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
3:07 pm

when researching or studying humans…. I have never read any study or research that proved “cause and affect”….at best it would be a positive correlation…

I am still wondering why nobody wants to comment or exercise “Georgia Law” regarding school councils as a medium to create a “tool” to measure parent consensus, then collect, analyze, and interpret the data…..and then offer that feedback to the principal and Local BOE who makes the final decision for the “school calendar. ” School councils provide a “democratic” process through representation, ….including the the “subjective”…data collected by surveys has its shortcomings and does NOT always reflect the majority, but rather the majority who fully understood the questions and then took the time to return the surveys. Who collected the surveys, what was the turn around time for the surveys to get back to the school? Did all students hand carry the surveys? Did each teacher collect the surveys in their rooms or did the office collect the surveys? Was there time allotted for the students to take the surveys to the office if that was the process? Did parents really believe their opinion even counted? Did the parents actually receive the surveys? Who tallied the survey’s answers? How many surveys were dispersed and how many were returned?
A school council could have appointed a special committee to get as much input in an equitable manner, and transparent….

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
3:08 pm

just janny….what about the second word in your own posting…RECOMMENDATIONs….

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
3:10 pm

@justnanny: Do you think the President of the United States…past and present uses ADVISORS? The SPIRIT of the school council law is one thing, but the letter of the law says that even if the school council up recommendations OR advisory to the decision makers….AT LEAST IT IS SANCTIONED by law.. there is a reason You and others down play the potential of the school councils…and it is because Law makers in Atlanta established them and the local BOEs were to implement them, but not enforced. To acknowledge School councils might challenge the centralized power of the LBOE..or question them..and we all know how that works…
AND THE LBOE is to give a reason why they made the decision regarding the school council’s recommendations…as it is now…a BOE can just say whatever they want for their decisions and it never has to be truthful or equitable…nor are they ever held accountable.

NY Teaching Vet

June 9th, 2011
3:14 pm

@ Kathy II – you’re correct – positive correlation was the term I should have used – tired today…

Somedontgetit

June 9th, 2011
3:18 pm

@catlady…

I see parents like that all the time, every school year. It is a pitiful shame that some folks want calendars that “help with babysitting”. Teachers are not babysitters!!!!! If you don’t like the calendars, teach your children at home and let the rest of us be.

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
3:21 pm

just one more point jj: of course the LBOE does NOT have to make any decision based on advice or recommendations from a school council or anyone else given the Georgia Constitution. Article VIII Section 5.
What parents can hope for is to influence the decisions and believe that their voice counts regardless their tax bracket. School Councils are a medium for all parents, who are equal…to get their concerns, suggestions, and /or ideas heard.

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
3:26 pm

there are always going to be parents who are in favor of institutionalizing their children if that is what they choose….the brick and mortar and not being responsible are what these parents are seeking…NOT the education process. Thus, teachers should not take it personally….

Mikey D

June 9th, 2011
3:43 pm

@Kathy
I think you’re really stretching your imagination if you think School Councils are going to become the driving factor in decision-making. They provide valuable input from a variety of perspectives, but the local BOE’s aren’t going to fully implement their recommendations above all else. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s simply not going to happen.

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
3:51 pm

My initial words…as posted earlier..note that I do NOT speculate the OUTCOME…simply stating a democratic process through representation(representatives voted in by the constituents they serve, parents). I am talking about a lawfully sanctioned process that is available to speak with one voice of potential CONSENSUS.
“School Councils are MANDATED by Georgia Law…it is a medium in which a consensus COULD be established and then taken to the LBOE for consideration.”

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
3:59 pm

now…why would LBOEs want to consider what the “consensus” , key word consensus or majority want?
Because there will come a time when BOE members ask local voters or constituents to vote on issues like Millage rate increases, school SPLOST, or even to be elected to represent the BOE member….some of these constituents are the same parents and teachers that have a law authorizing them to offer up advice or recommendations…it is a basic systems approach..
(Input + processes= outcome ) + feedback + input= better outcome +(feedback + input + Processes= even better outcome) and on and on and on until we get the BEST outcome possible…

Kathy II

June 9th, 2011
4:39 pm

or if the basic system’s approach is a bit mystifying…then how about …..RECIPROCITY…..

Paddy O

June 9th, 2011
4:52 pm

schools do not operate a vaccum. the school calender should begin after Labor Day and end before Memorial Day – if they decide they wish to go longer, then June is cooler than August. The impact that these calendars have on tourism and tourism spending in GA is most likely quite significant, and probably damages the states budget, along with other local governments who receive sales tax revenue.

Active in Cherokee

June 9th, 2011
5:04 pm

I don’t know what data other people are reading, but I’ve never read any article that disputes a shorter summer cuts down on the typical loss of knowledge. Remember when you where in school and it seemed like everything up until Thanksgiving was a review? I was reading an article in Time a couple of months ago that was wonderfully written and discussed both sides of the issue – though most of the data supported a ‘balanced’ calendar or even a ‘year round’ calendar. I couldn’t find it in the archive of Times but will provide a link to another one I found in the process of searching for that one. Here’s a quote from it – “schedules that stick to the 180-day norm but replace the three-month summer with several three-week respites throughout the year. The shorter vacations cut down on learning losses and allow teachers to intervene when students start lagging.”

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,997589,00.html#ixzz1OoWnYU80

@ another comment – The summer loss of knowledge affects the lower socio-economic more than any other culture. Higher socio-economic groups often continue education via summer reading programs, summer camps, Test-prep classes, and a plethera of other opportunities afforded to them. LIke you I came from a family without much, a father bouncing around jobs and a mother doing everything to make ends meet. I went to an inner-city public school where many days I feared for my life and well-being while trying to learn. I became the first in my graduate college (tops in my program) and went on to earn a Masters Degree while having a full graduate assistanship. Coming from that environment I want to do everything in my power to ensure we give every advantage to the ‘have-not’ students so they can work hard and better themselves like I did. Its not a hand out, its a school calendar. In a day and age of AYP, we are responsible for every sub-group and the lower socio-economic area is where we are failing the most.

Maureen Downey

June 9th, 2011
5:08 pm

@Active. I participated in a conference call today on the new Rand Corp/Wallace Foundation study on “summer slide” and will write about it, but the study results are embargoed until Monday.
Maureen

catlady

June 9th, 2011
5:26 pm

Embargoed=embarwent?

Actually, what would be fun would be Cobb Co to decide to start school November 1 or so, and go till September 1. THAT would shut everyone up!