Friday, April 10, 2009

Trading Time for Money


As you sit there enjoying your well-deserved spring break, don't forget that Arne Duncan wants to take it away from you. Displaying a unique knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong place at the wrong time, Duncan suggested to an audience of 400 kids that they should pretty much go to school all the time. He said:

"I fundamentally think that our school day is too short, our school week is too short, and our school year is too short." He went on: "You're competing for jobs with kids from India and China. I think schools should be open six, seven days a week, 11, 12 months a year."

If schools are open seven days a week and twelve months a year, doesn't that rather suggest that they might be open every single day of the year? Perhaps Mr. Duncan, like Mr. Scrooge, will give kids the day off for Christmas, considering that Christmas trees are not allowed in public schools.

The students he was addressing gave a very telling response: Instead of boos, the AP reports, the students offered Duncan "bored stares."

Every teacher knows those stares. They often come after lunch, which can come as early as 10AM at some schools, when students no longer feel like working. Tacking a few more hours on per day and few more days per week is going to send those bored stare statistics through the roof. The fact is that for the vast majority of students, additional school will do absolutely no good. Most students have difficulty staying alert during the school day as it is. For many students who are borderline, additional time will actually have the reverse effect, causing them to decide not to attend school at all.

Mr. Duncan also seems unaware that many inner city children have other obligations besides school. Many work in their parents' business or take care of siblings. And there is something to be said for just letting children be children, and not turning them into miniature Arne Duncans.

To be sure, Mr. Duncan has risen pretty high in the education world. I wonder how many days he went to school per year? I'm betting it's about 180, and yet somehow he managed to become secretary of education. Most of my colleagues and I have master's degrees and we all had summer vacations--I wonder how that could be? Even Barack Obama, who has been brainwashed into believing this garbage, became president of the Harvard Law Review and subsequently POTUS while attending the same type of public schools we have today.

Rather than do the hard work of trying to improve public education and public schools with meaningful reforms that empower teachers and involve parents, Obama and his team think we need to do more--much more--of the same old crap. It won't work.

So all you teachers out there: enjoy your breaks while you still have them. Even though we have a contract that stipulates the number of days we must work, it won't be long before Randi trades time for money in her continuing efforts to appease politicians and grab power. Don't forget the 2005 contract when she sold us out for a measly 6 percent and increased our working day. Me, I hope to retire before that day comes.

1 comment:

Brie said...

Ew. Having been in school for the past 16 years of my life, I can almost absolutely appoint my successes to the fact that there were vacations to look forward to. Everyone needs a break. I think that if Mr.Duncan worked all day, every day, for a year, he would rethink this brilliant strategy to further enrich America's students.