Ohio bill limits school year to fall between holiday weekends, to boost tourism

Posted Thursday, April 28, 2011 12:13 PM | Contributed by Jeff

One lawmaker wants to change Ohio's school year so the state's amusement parks, resorts and tourist attractions can flourish from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Read more from The Zanesville Times Recorder.

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Friday, April 29, 2011 2:10 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
All of that comparison and competition and stuff is fine - if the most important thing is to pump out the most productive and knowledgeable little workers we can. I'm not sure that is the most important thing.

Being a son of Chinese immigrant parents, I felt compelled to read "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." http://www.amazon.com/Battle-Hymn-Tiger-Mother-Chua/dp/1594202842

The basic premise is the conflict between the two philosophies of parenting that this Chinese-American mother faced:
a) Self-esteem leads to achievement AND/OR
b) Achievement leads to self-esteem

I personally happen to think a) is overrated and b) is underrated, but more importantly, I think that philosophy a) won't pay the bills while philosophy b) will. I'm pretty convinced that as globalization becomes easier and easier, the average American worker raised on philosophy a) will lose his or her job to the average immigrant/outsource worker raised on philosophy b).


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, April 29, 2011 2:26 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

a) Self-esteem leads to achievement AND/OR
b) Achievement leads to self-esteem

I personally happen to think a) is overrated and b) is underrated, but more importantly, I think that philosophy a) won't pay the bills while philosophy b) will.

I think it's the wrong question to be asking to begin with.

It's only relevant if you believe one leads to the other. Seems to me the missing thing is balance.

Balance in life brings both achievement and self-esteem. :)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, April 29, 2011 2:37 PM
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Friday, April 29, 2011 2:48 PM

Having a high midi-chlorian count doesn't hurt, either...


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, April 29, 2011 2:57 PM

I get this, but I'm asking more if you reach a point where it's not worth the gain because, you know, kids do nothing but schooling.

Of course such a point exists. But, worrying about that point is like worrying about the point at which I exercise so much that I would die of exhaustion. I'm not in any danger of that, even if I doubled by weekly exercise regimen.

Full disclosure: I didn't hate school when I was a kid. My kids go to a hippie "Open" school and *they* don't hate school either, despite the fact that they are learning stuff. They are both pretty ordinary in terms of raw ability, so it's not like they are "gifted" or anything---they do have to put in effort to do well, but they enjoy it because the school is set up in a way that kids seem to enjoy. If you hated school, and/or your kids go to a school that sucks the souls of its students, then you might have a different take on whether or not we are at the "not worth it" point.

But, that's because some schools suck, not because "education" is inherently bad.

I'm sure other countries send their kids to school longer, harder and faster and pump out little machines that put American kids to shame. So what?

Flip Answer Number One: If you want to continue living in a country that consumes way more than its fair share of the world's resources---and you have to admit, that's a pretty nice place to live---then, collectively, you have to beat everyone else in the race for the goodies.

Flip Answer Number Two: who do you think is going to take care of us all when we are old? Hint: it's probably not going to be the kids in today's China.

Also, pardon the self-quote, but:


I have a good reference that talks about some of the possibilities [of why testing is not indicative of accomplishment]. I have to run, but will try to remember to post a pointer later.

This is worth a read. I found it fascinating:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DOSB3Y

I've worked with a lot of people in my field who were art history majors, and a surprising number who have no degree at all

Sure. I know lots of people like that. The lack of a degree does not doom you to failure. And Lord knows that obtaining a degree does not guarantee success. But, I'd rather my own kids played the odds.

Edited to add: for the record, Michigan schools cannot start before Labor Day and that's okay with me. June here can often be chilly, weather-wise, but August is still nice, weather-wise, all the way to the end. So, at least here, *that's* what is special about summer. It's the two months that don't suck.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Friday, April 29, 2011 3:10 PM
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Friday, April 29, 2011 3:32 PM

Ensign Smith said:
Having a high midi-chlorian count doesn't hurt, either...

Using the Force is always an option


-Brent Kneebush

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Friday, April 29, 2011 3:37 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Brian Noble said:
Of course such a point exists. But, worrying about that point is like worrying about the point at which I exercise so much that I would die of exhaustion. I'm not in any danger of that, even if I doubled by weekly exercise regimen.

Ok, but I'm still not sure we're on the same page.

You could excercise more, but what are you giving up to excercise? How long before you do nothing but exercise in a constant effort to be the most fit? Or as fit as you can be?

Again, just because you could do more doesn't mean you should do more - especially at is the expense of other things that are just as important(admittedly, what I feel are just as important)to the big picture.

Flip Answer Number One: If you want to continue living in a country that consumes way more than its fair share of the world's resources---and you have to admit, that's a pretty nice place to live---then, collectively, you have to beat everyone else in the race for the goodies.

And the question I continue to ask is when the effort outweighs the goodies. That point will eventually come - especially as long as it's seen as either/or.

Flip Answer Number Two: who do you think is going to take care of us all when we are old? Hint: it's probably not going to be the kids in today's China.

Ok - and this applies to both answers - so we step it up. And then they (they being the everyone else in your first answer) do too, so we have to again and then so do they and then so do we. There's a point where you can't go any further.

Which to tie it back to the excercise thing - you're not even close to a point where the excercise becomes excessive now. But if your agenda is to be more fit than the guy on the treadmill beside you and his is the same - the two of you will reach that point eventually. Just because you're not there now doesn't mean you don't have to consider the outcome.

This is worth a read. I found it fascinating:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DOSB3Y

Cool.

But, I'd rather my own kids played the odds.

As much as I'm down on the system, my approach is the same. You gotta play the game. If you can skirt the rules along the way more power to you.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, April 29, 2011 3:38 PM
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Friday, April 29, 2011 4:30 PM

Ok, but I'm still not sure we're on the same page.

No, I think we both understand the question. But, I think we differ as to whether or not we are realistically close to the point of diminishing returns. What's more, the bar to just stay in the same place keeps going up. For example, China is pouring a TON of resources into developing their higher ed system.

Plus, as I mentioned, it's not like "school" (or for that matter "work") has to inherently grind you down into a pulp. It often does, but it doesn't have to---and at least for "school", it really shouldn't.

On a related note, just hitting my inbox today, an invitation to:


RACE TO NOWHERE
Come see this highly acclaimed documentary about the high-stakes, high-stress environment of our educational system. It is being sponsored by all the West side Ann Arbor public schools PTOs and the AAOCC.

The AAOCC is the parent-teacher organization of my kids' hippy-dippy school. And, as more evidence of its hippy-dippiness, from my facebook status earlier today:

An Ann-Arbor-as-Lake-Wobegone moment:

Last night's 7th/8th grade talent show fundraiser featured...
...a string quartet...
...playing a Katy Perry song...
...with an arrangement by one of the four students.

(And, it was very very good.)

I mean it's one thing to do Bach on piano, or Brubeck on clarinet (and a couple of them did). But, to sit down and work out that string arrangement, that was pretty neat. (Edited: and the neatest part was they did it just because they could---there was no grade, no assignment, no requirement. They just did it for fun.)

Last edited by Brian Noble, Friday, April 29, 2011 4:34 PM
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Friday, April 29, 2011 4:34 PM
Jeff's avatar

You know, for all of the so-called academics who trivialize athletics in schools, they could learn something from what I've found with my kids, and what you describe above. Give the kids some kind of ownership and responsibility for what they're doing, and they'll run with it and surprise you. Give them static assignments with only one "right" outcome, and they'll be bored and disengaged, to say nothing of that fact they won't learn anything.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, April 29, 2011 4:40 PM

That's exactly right---but it doesn't have to be the sole domain of athletics. That notion is one of the foundations of "Open" education. It's one of the reasons my kids like our school as much as they do, and why I'm really happy they go there. The whole point behind much of what goes on at AAO is to give the kids a framework within which to work, and see how far they can push it.

That's not to say that there aren't some "skills" they have to pick up along the way. Everyone is expected to multiply fractions with dissimilar denominators. But, that sort of work is woven amongst other interesting things and even the "drill" work is in the context of something more compelling.


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Friday, April 29, 2011 5:29 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Brian Noble said:
But, I think we differ as to whether or not we are realistically close to the point of diminishing returns.

Not really. I don't think we've even in the neighborhood of diminishing returns. But I also think we should stay away from that neighborhood. If we find ourselves on the highway headed there, we need to take a detour because we've gone too far.

What's more, the bar to just stay in the same place keeps going up

Exactly. But I think there's an eventual limit to how far that bar can move - based on simple time and resources alone. I also think there's a limit to how far should move - based on the idea that life is more than eeking the most productivity possible out of each being feeding the machine.

Plus, as I mentioned, it's not like "school" (or for that matter "work") has to inherently grind you down into a pulp. It often does, but it doesn't have to---and at least for "school", it really shouldn't.

Agreed. And that's not my concern. I think humans could spend 100% of those 5840 waking how engaged in instruction. I just don't think we should. I don't care if you even love it (or anything, really) - you probably shouldn't spend an inordinate amount of time doing it. That seems a bit problematic.

My point is schooling can't be all you do. Playing can't be all you do. Working can't be all you do. Anything. Name it. It shouldn't be all you do.

It's all about what you can do versus what you should do. Not about what is physically possible, but about what is reasonable.

---

I feel like I'm just repeating myself while not expressing what I'm thinking well enough. :)


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Friday, April 29, 2011 5:29 PM

Its interesting to me that over the past 20 years or so, kids' sports have become significantly more structured. Prior to that time, the majority of time that kids spent playing sports was in backyard/pickup games that were not structured. Kids made up the rules, resolved the disputes, etc. Now from what I see and hear, kids spend a lot less time in playing sports in backyards and on driveways in large part because they are spending much more time in structured leagues (the number of "travel" leagues always amuses me) where adults make the rules, resolve the disputes, etc. There are merits to both but I think the balance is important. As is the balance between structured and unstructured time for kids in general. And balance between formal and informal education.

At this point, I am not sure there is much value in provided more formal education (in terms of hours or days) on the primary/secondary levels because in large part it would be a matter of leading a horse to water. In many instances, there isn't the desire or interest to learn more (at least of what is being taught). Part of that is the subject matter. Part of that is how it is being taught. Part is a lack of parental involvment/caring (which I think is the biggest factor in a kids' educational/life prep success by far). You can't do much about the first issue (at least assuming the subjects being taught are deemed to be appropriate). Second part you can do something about. Strikes me as odd that we for the most part have a one size fits all view of primary/secondary education. By and large, all schools are doing the same things with all kids. Some vary on the margins but not to a great degree and particularly not if you look at the broad spectrum of talents, interests, personalities, etc. of kids. And there isn't much you can do about the interest/caring levels of parents.

Main goal of parenting is to raise your kids to be happy, healthy and productive members of society. And not productive in some math/science or computer output way but to be able to contribute to society in some positive way and be self sufficient. But its very difficult to measure progress on that journey and many times success or failure isn't really determined until its already happened. And there are a lot of different ways to get your kids there none of which is necessarily better than the others.

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Friday, April 29, 2011 5:35 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

To me, education in this country is less about being educated and more about being taught. Not that that is necessarily wrong (to be taught) but it shouldn't br the sole reason for goin to school. I hated school because it was boring. I was ahead in everything but math, and instead of trying to help me with that, i was not given the opportunities other kids that were adequate at everything but excelled at nothing were given even though I excelled in science, art, reading, public speaking, and history/civics, business classes, health, and every other subject. Eventually I gave up. My senior English teacher commented on that the week of my graduation. He didn't chastise me for it but commented more on the fact that I had potential that the system failed to realize.

Our county system was so bad the state eventually came in and took over the board in our county. We had a teacher named teacher of the year in the entire country by the Discovery Network. Our county didn't even recognize him for it I'd go on but I get very angry talking about my former board of education and the former board members. Yes. I'm bitter.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Friday, April 29, 2011 6:23 PM
Jeff's avatar

School bored me to tears. I was an honors student until I moved and decided the weird competitiveness over it in the burbs was stupid. I had a 2.9 GPA I think, and that was weighted with the honors credits. Then I took the ACT, and ended up being in the 96th percentile. It wasn't until I met with a college admissions rep that I realized what was going on. As he put it, comparing my GPA to my ACT, "Clearly high school has not challenged you."

I'm sure that steers people to the anti-one-size discussion, among other things. I haven't thought about it much, but I do believe we're doing it wrong.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, April 29, 2011 7:32 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Same here for the most part. I aced the ACTs... With the exception of math. I can do basic Math fine. But I don't like it.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011 1:20 AM

You could argue all day about whether the school year should be longer, the number of hours should be increased, etc. But the deciding factor, for good or for bad, is going to be $. A state government could announce that next year the school year is going to increase by X days, but do you think the employees (teachers, maintenance, admins, food service) are going to say 'sure' without expecting a corresponding increase in pay? And then how is that increase funded? The kicker is that your touristy type businesses who lose revenue with a longer school year have less to put into the pot.

No matter how many hours of teaching occur, I seriously question whether students are being prepared for life. Jeff, Andy and others have mentioned it in their posts. I see a lack of critical thinking, problem solving, and I definitely see the inability to make change way too often. (Yet these people can probably tell you everything that Snooki and Charlie Sheen have done for the past 3 years.)

Here's my own anecdote. I'm in the process of starting my own business, and have been searching for employees. I'm not looking for rocket scientists, but I'm not looking for mindless, soulless grunts either. What I've been seeing in resumes is distressing. I see college degrees in certain majors, followed by numerous jobs having nothing to do with said degree. In fact, most of the jobs listed probably require no degree at all. I have no problem with a person attending a college or university and receiving a degree. But that degree should represent achievement of proficiency in a field that allows the graduate to become a productive member of society. It should not be a token handed out for putting in so much time and putting out so much money.

No offense intended to anyone here, but this country does not need another psychology major. I wonder about the whole process here. What drives students to select this major disproportionately? Do high schools properly counsel students on the major and career choices they make? Because I know what positions a bachelor's degree in psychology qualifies one for. Or are they just glad because the more kids that go to college, the better the school looks? What about the college? Are they glad just to keep certain departments afloat? Allow a tenured professor to remain on staff? Hand out more degrees?

Should anyone be concerned that people graduate from college without the skills to qualify for the positions that are currently available-- or that are projected to be needed in the future? I just think after all the money spent on educating someone for 16-17 years, whether it be through the taxpayers, grants, loans, or cash, ending up sorting clothes on a rack or being a security guard is a pretty lousy rate of return on that investment for all of us.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011 1:23 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
I see college degrees in certain majors, followed by numerous jobs having nothing to do with said degree. In fact, most of the jobs listed probably require no degree at all. I have no problem with a person attending a college or university and receiving a degree. But that degree should represent achievement of proficiency in a field that allows the graduate to become a productive member of society. It should not be a token handed out for putting in so much time and putting out so much money.

Wow. That one should sound eerily familiar to Jeff and Carrie, I'm sure. I've said the same thing to them (almost verbatim) a number of times in college discussions.


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Sunday, May 1, 2011 2:26 AM
Jeff's avatar

College isn't a vocation school. I've been writing software for 10 years, a fairly technical occupation, with a double major in radio/TV and journalism. If I had gone to grad school, then yes, that would've made a difference in terms of my education as it relates to occupation, but even then, if you're clever enough to make it through grad school, you're clever enough to change careers when you feel like it.

And if you think getting a degree is just about writing a check and putting in the time, I'm going to assume you don't have a degree.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Sunday, May 1, 2011 2:40 AM

RatherGoodBear said:

No offense intended to anyone here, but this country does not need another psychology major.

Speaking as someone with a B.A. in Psychology (U. of Akron, 2002, cum laude), I utterly agree. In fact, it's shocking how little you can actually do with a Psych bachelors, other than to go on to grad school.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Sunday, May 1, 2011 2:47 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

In RGB's defense, there was this study.

So for 1-in-3 it does look like putting in the time and money might just be enough.

I still say at the core, more and more people are going to college because they feel the have to, not because they necessarily want to. And yes, you can put in minimal effort and slip through. You're only going to get out of it what you put into it.

I do feel like the system is broken top-to-bottom and a good chunk of college students are only there because that's how the system works - you need a college degree to do well, so I'm gonna go get something relatively easy and do as little as possible to get it. You go through the motions. I know too many people like this.

If we can pump out high school grads who can't read, we can probably pump out college degrees to kids who put in little more than time and money too.

But we've had this discussion a hundred times. :)


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Sunday, May 1, 2011 2:20 PM
Jeff's avatar

Dude, one-third of people who go to college never finish. Slip through? I'd like to see you do it.

I don't know many people who went to college because it was what you were supposed to do, but I do know a lot of people who went to college because they weren't sure what to do next. College is actually a pretty good place to figure that out.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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