Tuesday, October 20, 2009

talk, shmalk

I've suffered from Writer's Block...and I haven't been practicing what I preach and writing through it anyway!

There's been more talk recently about upping the number of days we go to school here in the good ol' USofA, by our favorite spokesman, Arne Duncan. The motivating factor is that we're falling behind other countries, especially in math; one obvious difference between US & European schools is the number of days we go to school. Apparently very few countries go fewer than 200 days a year now, whereas 180 is the national norm.

First and foremost, I need to do more digging into this issue. My gut reaction, however, are these two thoughts:

A. Fine...but will you finally pay teachers what we deserve?
B. Quantity is not equivalent to Quality

Are there days I wish I had more time? Absolutely. This unit is one of them - we sped through Animal Farm which, in my opinion, is a shame. We'll come back to it in our persuasive unit with a focus on propaganda. Other things have been scheduled for the end of October, however, so we zipped through it. But (stop me if you've heard this one) I wasn't able to do many of the fun activities I like to do with Animal Farm . Even if we attended school 365 days, I would probably still be singing that tune; ultimately, teachers will ALWAYS feel like we don't have enough time.

Although if parents stepped in and did THEIR jobs, we could actually spend more time on curriculum and then maybe...well, anyway. You get the idea. Preachin' to the choir. I need to do more research, but that's my gut reaction to the talk them boys is giving up in the big house.

What do you think? Will more in-school days make US students more competitive internationally?

(source: picture courtesy of Eric Rice)


  1. I'm with you! Even if kids were at school every day of the year, that can never make up for parents not reading to their children, helping them with their homework, or teaching their children to be respectful people so that they don't steal away all the class time from teachers. But, I think I would still teach a few more days a year if I made more money. But, I doubt that would ever happen!

  2. I definitely agree that quantity does not necessarily translate to quality. It's crazy that people think spending more time at something means better efforts. That is so old-world!

    What matters is commitment, understanding and foundations. You may just as well sit in a class 365 days a year and not lap a word, or u may sign up for just 180 days and still do better than the class nerd!