My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad

December 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

« So much for the Empire State Building in the color of freedom | Main | Phillies, NL East Champions (and still Champions of the World!) »

September 29, 2009



I thought it had longer days .. till 5 or 6 PM


the problem is we keep looking overseas and seeing children who are "performing" better. ever talk to any of those students from overseas? they'll tell you all about what it's like to get very little sleep, forced to be in school/ studying at home for 10-12 hours a day. they don't get vacations. they don't get time to breathe. is this what we want for our kids? would you have wanted to do this when you were a kid? oh, and i'm really getting tired of having the teachers blamed for everything.


Maybe if they skipped the "Obama worship" songs, the children might have time for those subjects that really matter.

Frank Warner

They get a full month vacation, and even the parents get that month off. Children don't need three months off. They need to continue nurturing their minds before May's algebra is forgotten.


A number of schools in my area went on the "year-round" schedule for a while and the teachers mostly loved it. But then a bunch of wealthier parents who wanted to "take Muffin to France in the summer, like we always do" pressured the school board and they killed it.
I'm more skeptical of this move to keep schools open till 5 or 6 pm, though. Part of me suspects that's just parents wanting free daycare.
I could be wrong.


I don't have a strong opinion on this topic but I'd have to say that I tend to be against it.

You don't have to be Muffin's wealthy parents to find some opportunities for your children in those three months. We found quite a few: swim team, soccer camps, youth group trips, extended trips (short vacations) as well as our regular vacation.

And they get to enjoy the tradition that I always savored: some time off.

Before we give the teachers the bad news about having to work year round, perhaps we should work on the fact that their pension plans are far too generous and we can't afford them any longer.

jj mollo

There are some researchers who think that the effect is not significant, or affects different subjects differently. They think that the teachers only notice the unexpected losses, but not the unexpected gains, perhaps from reading Harry Potter over the summer. They would conclude that the whole exercise is not cost-effective and would just prevent teachers from pursuing advanced degrees. I've also read stuff that suggests there is an interaction between home environment and vacation regression. For inner-city kids, the loss might understandably be much greater, whereas Muffin would learn a lot in Paris (all good I'm sure). An alternative might be to provide/encourage alternative education opportunities for those who might benefit.

Frank Warner

Day care definitely is one aspect of this proposal. For many working parents, the idea of teachers watching their youngsters until 5 p.m. is nirvana.

Of course, there would be a downside, too, and not just the cost. Some parents would use the 9-to-5 school as an excuse to ignore their children. On the other hand, for some children, this beats other alternatives, like roaming the streets.

I have the feeling cost will drive decisions on this. We don't exactly have a lot of extra uncommitted cash lying around for something this expensive.


I agree with Obama on this one. More, there should be a kindergarten class on how to sew, followed by a four hour class in every grade on 'practice sewing'. Also, there should be no air-conditioning in that class, so the children will sweat a bit.

Hey, if the government is going to raise the kids for us, shouldn't they be able to scrape a little pocket-change out of it?

jj mollo

Public education should be considered an investment. Improvements probably pay off in the long run in terms of increased paychecks, increased government revenues and even improved national security. Not only that, but better educations probably result in reduced costs in other areas, such as health care and corrections.

Actually, Kevin, the sweat shop initiation sounds like a good idea to me. It was working in the chemical plant that convinced me to finish college ... at whatever cost.


I dunno. I'm not a fan of pawning off your kids to the school to make your personal life more convenient. That's why I'm leaning against the 'school till 5' and the year-round school idea.

There are other reasons though. First, it would wreak havoc on family vacations. That sounds like no big deal, but it is, especially if your kids work in school until 5pm all year. When else would you get to spend quality time with them?

Second, does anyone think that downtime after learning something is where humans digest and incorporate the information? It's certainly that way with me. 12 month school would deny that downtime that I think is a necessary part of the learning process. (I know this one is totally unscientific, but I think it's accurate).

And C), I don't trust Obama, so if he's for it, there's probably something VERY wrong with the idea. ;)

PS - I worked at a chemical plant too. It made me want to go to/finish college too. But for a different reason I guess, because I still work at one today! Chemicals are awesome. Producing them is like watching magic happen. Scientific magic.


Fat chance the teachers will teach longer hours or more days for the same pay. I'd bet they would want at least 25% more annual salary.

How much more for good old Taxpayer to carry?

jj mollo

Once again, I'm dittos with Kevin. Unfortunately my kids insist on staying in school until 5pm anyway. They're in all these different clubs and sports things. I'm convinced that these endeavors are not just a way of avoiding home, but represent an earnest effort in self-education, or more generally self-development. Summer is when we do things together. I would be distressed if summer were significantly shortened for them. And I don't believe the extra school would be of great educational benefit -- for them. In fact, they have, where it suited them, pursued focused summertime educational opportunities of their own choosing. It is the free time to read that appeals to them, however.

There are a lot of kids, however, who don't do too well in the summer. Single parents have a hard time providing for appropriate supervision while holding down a job. And they might not have enough money to provide a reasonable substitute. Also, bad neighborhoods might not have the kind of summer jobs that you and I are familiar with. Some neighborhoods don't even have a grocery store. There are usually small libraries, but I think you would be disappointed with them, and in Philadelphia, at least, they are always under threat of the budget knife.

PS - Congratulations on your transition, Kevin. I considered studying chemistry myself. It's amazing how the same organization can have a completely different effect on you, depending only on the nature of your responsibilities. I was filling bottles and packing things while the pumps and filters were roaring. No let up. No conversation. My sanity was being tested.


Dittos? Part of me wants to know the etymology of that word; another part doesn't.


schools originally used the 9-10 month plan because families needed their children home during the summer to help with the farming and other summer chores.
If schools were to adopt year round attendance the students would still go around the 180 days that they go already. Summer breaks would be shorter but other breaks would be longer to compensate.


Okayy well im only a teenager, but those of you who say school till 5 in the afternoon is good... its ridiculous because hell, we all have after school activities such as sports and clubs, and let alone, an average high school student has up to around 4 hrs of homework each night. Trust me i know I have 5 AP classes this year and its around 6 hrs of homework...but anyways to the point, us kids need time to let loose, go have fun let our energy go. And everyone is exclaiming that we're all getting fat and morbidly obese, well if all he we do is go to school till 5 come home around 530 ish eat dinner and then do homework for 3 or 4 hours what time is it then? like 10 oclock. That is just plain dumb. It is said that everyone is recommended to an hour of excerise/ activity to stay healthy. And another thing is that a summer is needed to unwind and relax. and many many teenagers get jobs during this time to save up for a car, or college money, and etc. And also to the person who claims that summer is just for rich people. you are wrong. People like to sit under a tree and read a good book, or go for a run around the block or hell play a pick up game of basketball or football with the neighbors, or visit relatives. School shouldn't be year around or till 5.

Frank Warner

No one is saying students should be chained to their desks all day. In fact, if the school day goes to 5 p.m., children should be required to use at least 2 of those hours for intense physical activity.

Strong hearts for strong minds!


I think ,in general having year round school would be ok as long as we have a longer summer break when it comes.what i do not agree with is having us stay in school untill 5:00!! On average I have about three hours of homework so that takes us to 8:00 not counting dinner which would be about a half hour,By the time I'm finished it would be 8:30!1 therewould be no time to day anything remotely fun!!! But hey I'm just a kid and grownups never seem to like to listen to us kids.

Frank Warner

I don't think anyone envisions students going to formal classes on most days between 3 and 5 p.m. That easily could become time to do "homework."

The 5 p.m. school's-out time seems aimed principally at avoiding the need for 3-5 p.m. day-care for children of working parents.


I have a lot of problems with this idea. There are definitely pros, but as a mom to a middle schooler- he already struggles to have any family time with homework and whatnot, so if he's in school til 5, we eat dinner and then he's off to homework and bed. Even as an adult that is more than most of us have to do! Our kids need to be KIDS...not machines

The comments to this entry are closed.