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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Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:29 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
That even dials me back to a bigger question. Is college really that over-emphasized? I've been out now for 16 years, so I really want to know. I thought we were still just trying to get people to finish high school.

I do believe it is.

At the schooling level, my kids hear about how they need a college degree to be successful the same way we heard "stay in school" and about how we needed a high school diploma.

Ask the parents what kind of chance there is that their kids won't go to college. I doubt you'll find more than one or two that say they won't push their kids or put their kids through college.

Here I am slamming the idea left and right, but we have already discussed college and tuitions and potential choices with my daughter once or twice - and she's only 13. I think there's other places she could get the same thing, but I know she needs a college education to play the game.

In the real world, I can tell you my wife wouldn't have even gotten an interview with her last two employers without that degree on her resume. And the company she just left wouldn't hire or promote anyone to any supervisory level if they didn't have a degree.

I mean we're talking front desk supervisors. Not even management positions. Hourly wages. The girl potentially checking you in.

If it's trickling down that far in places, I think there's an expectation about college degrees that just didn't exist before.

wahoo skipper said:
It is simple math for me. In my field I make much more money and have far greater opportunities WITH a degree than without.

Exactly. I suspect you're representative of most college students. You needed the piece of paper that says you're better. The problem is that the way the system exists, I don't believe:

1. You have to get 'better' to get a degree

2. A college education is the only way to get 'better'

But I've only said that roughly 4000 times at this point. :)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:30 PM
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Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:31 PM

Brian Noble said:
This also relates to a discussion I was having on another board with a mom who was furious (FURIOUS) that her middle-school daughter's excellent county-league softball team was being beaten by a slightly better softball team, but that slightly better team had an ineligible player from another county. She was appalled, and demanded resolution.

My reaction: who the hell cares? It's middle-school softball. To me, the winning bit is not the important bit. It's all the other bits that revolve around sports: fair play, exceeding the limits you assume you are bound by, facing adversity with dignity, etc. etc. etc. And, I realized that this puts me squarely in the same class of "old-fashioned" with the Amish with their curious distaste for electricity. Because NO ONE in any upper middle-class town worries if their kids are learning stuff and trying hard. They care if their children are WINNING. Who's first chair in the orchestra? Who won the math competition? Who's softball team is the best in the county?

Over the last 30 years or so, we have become incredibly sports obsessed as a society. Its true on the professional and collegiate levels. But where it is especially true is on the youth sports level. In and of itself, that would be a topic for a different thread though.

But there are some relevant points with respect to that obsession in this thread (or at least where the discussion in this thread has gone). I know a ridiculously high number of folks who are convinced that their kids will get an athletic scholarship to college (and I doubt those numbers are unique to my experience because folks I talk to across the country say the same thing). As a result, those folks are incredibly competitive when it comes to kids' sports.

From what I have seen the problem is that most of these kids are slightly above average (maybe ) to very good with a few being even better. There are hundreds of thousands of kids as good or better across the country (from years of coaching, its rare the parent that doesn't overestimate their own kid's talent/ability). Second isssue is that I think its pretty rare that a kid gets an athletic scholarship at a school where the academics will best suit them. But different parents take different paths and my kids are clearly much more likely to get an academic scholarship than they are an athletic one.

Another issue driving the focus on winning, being first chair in the orchestra, winning the math competition, the best softball team in the county, etc. is increased focus on college applications. While I agree that its the process not the product that matters most, the process doesn't always show as well as the product on a college application. And there are a lot of folks out there lining up their kids' college applications in middle school (some who do it earlier than that).

As to the specific softball question, I can see the parent's point. Rules are there for a reason. Teams shouldn't be able break the rules to win. That is all part of the process of playing sports. Now that being said, I would not make a federal case out of it. Point it out to the coach and let him/her point it out to the league and let them address it. Depending on the situation, it shouldn't be difficult to forfeit that game (wouldn't work if it was a weekend tournament that was already over, league playoffs have already happened, etc.). At a minimum, the team shouldn't be able to use the player again going forward. If you are not going to follow the rules, then why have them at all? If nothing happens (and again I wouldn't push it), the coaches/parents would be presented with a good teaching moment.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011 12:39 PM

Jeff said:
That even dials me back to a bigger question. Is college really that over-emphasized? I've been out now for 16 years, so I really want to know. I thought we were still just trying to get people to finish high school.

Depends on where you are. In the inner city, finishing high school is the goal. In Detroit, they would be happy to have folks who are functionally literate. In the suburbs, the push is for everyone to go to college.

"Go to college" works for the individual. For society as a whole, it doesn't.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011 5:30 PM

As a dad, as long as most of the world deems a degree necessary to succeed then I'm going to steer my kids toward college. Now, if one or both of them gives me some reason to believe college isn't the right choice (a lack of desire, a particular talent, etc) then I'm open to the possibility of them not going.

But, I'm saving money.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011 10:20 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I am 100% convinced that having an elite degree opens up *lots* more doors than having an average "piece of paper" (I was in software engineering) but I'm also 100% convinced that the quality of the student/graduate has very little to do with what happens after you open your acceptance letter.

You could probably do just about the same thing by turning it into the "MIT award" which selects the top 2000 students and gives them a gold star and then sends them off to "decent school X."

I matured personally and academically a whole hell of lot while on campus, but I'm pretty sure I could have and would have done so on almost any other campus. Me personally? I wouldn't have even come close in a non-academic environment.


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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Sunday, May 15, 2011 2:45 AM
Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I'm with you there. For me, the environment had a lot to do with it. And I was kind of a miserable bastard the first two years, not able to really find my "place" in it all. I think facing similar issues in the "real world" would have had far greater consequences.

GoBucks89 said:
I know a ridiculously high number of folks who are convinced that their kids will get an athletic scholarship to college (and I doubt those numbers are unique to my experience because folks I talk to across the country say the same thing). As a result, those folks are incredibly competitive when it comes to kids' sports.

Oh God, I know these unrealistic assholes. I've had more than one. Imagine a 16-year-old girl, very smart, classic athletic volleyball build, hell of a swing... but she's 5'6". Her father thought she was D-1 material, and she filled her head with that expectation. Loved that kid to death, but that expectation made her miserable because she couldn't achieve it. Now, if she was interested, she could have easily scored an "academic" scholarship at any number of D-3 or 4 schools, but her dad was a moron. I've had a lot of parents like that. One pushed his kid so far that she didn't go to school at all (and tragically drowned in a boating accident last summer, unfortunately).

The more I think about the college emphasis problem, the more I think that the changing job market simply needs to find the right equilibrium. The shift away from manufacturing to service jobs is one of the big fundamental changes, but so is the push of technology into practically every industry. There are job categories with extreme shortages of qualified people, in particular regions or markets. You wanna make six figures? Be a completely average software developer and move to Seattle. Want $50k right out of school? Get that nursing degree (also pays more in Seattle). I periodically see stories about other surprisingly mundane fields that go unfilled, like accounting. I think the last US BLS report said there are 3 million unfilled jobs.

So whether college is the issue or not, there must be a mismatch of people with the right skills to the right jobs. The other issue is that people who have jobs are looking for greener pastures and taking some of those jobs too, and I bet they're more experienced than the people who are new to a field. It's an interesting problem.


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

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Sunday, May 15, 2011 11:18 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
So whether college is the issue or not, there must be a mismatch of people with the right skills to the right jobs.

Yes! :)

Something we can agree upon.

And that was the gist of the article I linked to a few pages back that reignited this whole thread:

"...the U.S. education system isn't turning out enough people with the math and science skills needed to operate and repair sophisticated computer-controlled factory equipment, jobs that often pay $50,000 to $80,000 a year, plus benefits."

At some point we have to be giving people these job-specific skills and that's not happening right now.

We're pumping out a lot of people who are 'better' with all those advanced thinking skills, but they don't know how to do anything.

(which, oddly enough, is what I think RGB was getting at in the first place)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, May 15, 2011 11:18 AM
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Sunday, May 15, 2011 12:37 PM
Rick_UK's avatar

I'd love to partake in this discussion, but your education system seems a lot different than ours. I don't understand a lot of the points made because I can't relate them to our system.

Perhaps in the UK, a lot of the points being made would be completely dependent on the sector that someone is trying to break into, their age and the prospective employer. Apologies if that is over simplifying it.


Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 12:05 PM
Vater's avatar

I didn't think this was worth submitting to news since it's not new information, but the following article about my home state relates to this thread:

Why do Virginia theme parks determine the state's academic calendar?

Apparently VA and MI are the only states that have this law.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 2:55 PM

The simple answer to that headline question is that the people running the educational system have their scheduling priorities so messed up that if they had their way, the academic year would run from late July to the end of April. I have no idea why that is, but in part I blame the colleges and Universities, who demand to have applications in earlier every year. I remember attending my University Orientation at the end of August just before classes started; now we're putting our incoming Freshmen through the Orientation process in May and June, before they've even begun to think about their final exams! The only other logical reason is the desire to put the Christmas break at the midpoint of the academic year, but as we Universities demonstrate, it is possible to do that with a 180-day September to May schedule if the class breaks are managed properly.

And don't believe the rot about a longer school year. Okay, perhaps there might be some benefit to a longer academic year...but we're unlikely to ever find out, as the academic year remains approximately 180 days, regardless of what calendar is used. July to April, or September to June, you're looking at roughly the same instructional year. So why not have summer vacation last through the summer?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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