Schools should set their own calendars

  • Article by: EDITORIAL BOARD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 23, 2013 - 6:47 PM

Districts and parents can determine what's best for students.

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jdlellis1Jan. 23, 13 7:48 PM

What this state needs is to go to a 9 week on/3 week off school calendar. The current agricultural based calendar is not serving students and the sate well into the 21st century. 9 weeks on/3 weeks off provides break opportunities without the significant learning/relearning gap the 12 week gap currently in place.

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JvonkorffJan. 23, 13 8:16 PM

There might be two reasons for starting school earlier. One is foolishness. The other has merit. If a school district wants to start school earlier, so that testing comes later in the school year, that is foolishness. Students who take a test a few weeks later in the year, don't learn more: its just changing the schedule to game the testing system. You can accomplish the same result by moving the state tests later in the school year for everyone. If an earlier start is implemented to increase the total number of school days in the school year, that has some merit. But changing the calender so that the kids in one district have a testing advantage over the kids in another district, that doesn't seem to have any educational value at all.

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comment229Jan. 23, 13 8:24 PM

The 45/15 plan has been around for a long long time. It is time for it to become a reality. Along with that we must stop this myth that we must prepare every kid for college. That just is not relevant anymore either. It's time to leave the 20th century behind, and realize that education must change and tweaking is a band aid. So why can't this happen?

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martytoilJan. 23, 1310:05 PM

A more accurate assessment of the performance of U.S. students would be obtained by comparing the scores of American schools with comparable poverty rates to those of other countries. Schools in the United States with less than a 10% poverty rate had a PISA score of 551. When compared to the ten countries with similar poverty numbers, that score ranked first. Country Poverty Rate PISA Score United States <10% 551 Finland 3.4% 536 Netherlands 9.0% 508 Belgium 6.7% 506 Norway 3.6% 503 Switzerland 6.8% 501 France 7.3% 496 Denmark 2.4% 495 Czech Republic 7.2% 478

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martytoilJan. 23, 1310:14 PM

In 2010, Minnesota's average ACT score (22.9) was the highest among the 27 states in which a majority of college-bound students took the test. The overall ACT scoring average was 22.6 (meaning that this score included the scores from those who would not attend college the following year), significantly higher than the national average of 21. Seventy percent of 4th graders read at or above a basic reading level; the national average is 34%. In the same category for 8th grade, Minnesotans scored 82%; the national average is just 43%. In math, Minnesota ranks third for 4th grade and second for 8th grade (89% and 83% respectively are at or above basic math levels). In 2011, Minnesota ranked second, behind Massachusetts, in math and science, based on the Science and Engineering Readiness Index (SERI).

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viqueenfailJan. 23, 1310:20 PM

Lots of excuses here. Look, if you can't teach the kids in a normal school year what makes you think you can do the job on some other schedule? We've produced some of the world's best thinkers and most useful innovations with the "old fashioned" schedule. How about we stop the excuses and start the teaching?

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FrankLJan. 23, 1310:32 PM

Why don't they first get rid of all the misc days off during the year for more instruction time. Like the 3 days in Oct, the kids don't need it off, they just into the swing of things. Then we get into Jan to Mar, when it seems every week there is a day off, or late start, etc. Use the existing time wisely so kids can have the summer for other activities.

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rlwr51Jan. 24, 1311:02 AM

Schools need and want tax money.People going to resorts over Labor Day and people buying things at the State Fair generale tax money.

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rlwr51Jan. 24, 1311:23 AM

This does not add more days of instruction to the calendar. It shifts the schedule in an attempt to out manuver the competition. To get a fair comparrison to other districts/schools the test needs to be given the same number of days into the school year. It would be a smarted choice to base the test date on the number of days of instruction given and have all schools take the test after X(a consistant number to be decided by the powers that be) number of days of instruction. Otherwise, as another poster said, it is gaming the system and doesn't prove a thing. If the gaminig contiues with the present factors in place, eventually school will start in June and end in mid-April(the current testing time). As far as year round school, that idea does have merit, however it is hard enough to get funding for the number of days we do have.

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gcrileyJan. 24, 1311:37 AM

viqueenfail Jan. 23, 13 10:20 PM Lots of excuses here. Look, if you can't teach the kids in a normal school year what makes you think you can do the job on some other schedule? We've produced some of the world's best thinkers and most useful innovations with the "old fashioned" schedule. How about we stop the excuses and start the teaching? === How about we get rid of mandated tests from NCLB so they can taech the the subject matter and not to the test.

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