Ohio governor proposes longer school year, adding a month

Posted Monday, February 2, 2009 9:06 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Gov. Ted Strickland's proposal last week to tack another 20 days onto the school year may mean an educational boost for the state's students, but it would mean big changes for many others. Those who run tourist sites such as Cedar Point amusement park said they will take a hit if the school year lengthens.

Read more from The Plain Dealer.

Related parks

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 6:23 AM

More time at bad schools will do nothing for those kids. Theres that old saying, quality over quantity. Failing schools who have 9 months, will still be failing schools at 12 months. Why not instead focus on hiring more teachers, firing bad ones (every school district has them, and most of the times everyone seems to know about them,) adding extra curriculars (which have been proven to be a way to decrease teen invovement in drugs and gangs,) and actually making teachers stand tough and not pass failing students just to get rid of them? Oh I know why, because its a hell of a lot easier to just say, you know what we need more of the same and that should fix the problem.


2020 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, CP, KI, Hershey, Dorney, SFGAdv, Canada’s Wonderland, BGW, Holiday World, SDC, Universal Orlando, Sea World Orlando

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 8:02 AM

Touchdown, I agree with your point of adding extra curiculars.

I'm a product of the NH school system, and fortunitly, my schol district (Bow, NH) prided iself on that fact. I was involved with the drama club, chior all four years and the school paper one year.

Plus, my mother ran the middle school drama club for 12 years.

I can say that those activites have helped me in life. While working backstage & building sets for shows, I learned quite a bit about carpentry, lighting, and working with what you had to make it work. Very cool.

Plus, I got to go to Canada's Wonderland on chorus trip in 2001 for a competition. :)


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 9:44 AM

I agree that extra time in a crappy school will not do a bit of good--this crappy school can't waste another 20 days after they've just wasted 180? I'm also sure that there are a few (and in this state very, very few) schools that could put the extra time to good use.

But the extra 20 days isn't aimed at the good schools, it's aimed at the bad ones. So if the bad ones don't improve, regardless of what happens at the good ones, it will be a failure. I don't want my kids spending all their time in school, free time is valuable too.

Of course the dirty secret that no one is talking about is that a bad school is only part of the problem. Parents are the other (and probably more important) part. Getting parents involved/encouraging in their kids' education is something quite a bit harder for the state to solve.

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 10:35 AM
Jeff's avatar

Where are you guys getting this idea that throwing time or money at a school district makes it better? That's completely arbitrary. Back it up.

Read this article about what they're doing in DC. It challenges virtually everything that is taken for granted about the way schools are supposed to be run. It gets a lot of people pissed off, but clearly maintaining status quo doesn't work.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 10:47 AM

Jeff said:
Where are you guys getting this idea that throwing time or money at a school district makes it better? That's completely arbitrary. Back it up.

Read this article about what they're doing in DC. It challenges virtually everything that is taken for granted about the way schools are supposed to be run. It gets a lot of people pissed off, but clearly maintaining status quo doesn't work.

Agreed. Look at the Cleveland system and how it wastes money and then has the nerve to ask for more.


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:14 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

The other reality for some, although not a favorable one, is that unless someone does something about the exorbitant costs and limited financial aid for higher education, students in their later years of high school need time off in order to work and earn money for tuition.

I know I needed every minute of my summers in order to work hard and earn my tuition. I wasn't going to college otherwise.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:32 PM

Read this article about what they're doing in DC.

Interesting article, but hardly generalizable to most school districts, because most school districts aren't large, urban, inner-city, and failing their students so abjectly.

Presumably, most of Ohio doesn't look like DC.

In a "normal" school setting, where there are probably some parents that care about their kids' educations and the kids are not literally starving, the pedagogical literature is pretty clear on what works and what doesn't.

The least effective way of learning something is sitting in a room, listing to the teacher talk---or, more accurately, letting your mind wander while the teacher drones on. The second least effective way is "passive reading" (You know, "Open your book to Chapter 3, and read pages ...") And, it's true that this is what happens in a lot of classrooms---usually in those where the teacher is marking time to retirement or, worse, just not very smart.

In contrast, the two most effective things are: time on task ("doing stuff"), and getting frequent, critical, and substantive feedback on your work, preferably while it is actively being done. The literature refers to the combination of these two things "active learning," but it's not really new. This is the stuff that good teachers have been doing more or less forever. It's pretty hard work, too.

I think, at some level, our differing perspectives on whether this is a good idea or not depends on whether our own experiences with schools have been good or bad. My kids get a lot of time on task, and a lot of substantive, timely feedback. If they got more of that, they'd be better off. And, that works for me, because like it or not, my kids are competing with your kids, Bob's kids, and everyone else's kids, worldwide.

On the other hand, if your experience with schools---either your own, or your kids'---was a lousy one, then it makes no freaking sense at all to spend more time doing crap that doesn't work: having a teacher drone, and reading boring textbooks.

So, schools that are screwing up need to do better, I agree with you completely. But, how do you do better? "Good teaching" is more work than lecturing mindlessly or doing your own thing while your students grind through chapters. It takes pretty smart people---smart people with other, and probably better, options.

The average starting salary for a teacher in Ohio is $30,430
. Probably most of those jobs have pretty good benefits packages, and it's a nine month salary---you would be free to work part time over the summer to augment your income. So, that's equivalent to a job of about $40,600 a year, with benefits. That's okay, but it's at the bottom end of the samples of what the Columbus Dispatch reports that college graduates could expect in 2007. Getting better teachers isn't just a matter of telling the current batch to shape up or ship out. Who do you replace them with? Unless you can attract better people, you replace them with more of the same. If you want to attract a better talent pool, you've got to pay more.

So, yes, fix the current mess--and that means better people, and that means more money. If you don't currently have a mess, and what you are doing is working, then doing a little more of it is a good thing, as long as you don't sacrifice balance in the kids' lives. And 12 weeks of completely free time each year just doesn't sound like a sacrifice of balance to me.

Finally, for those who just can't get enough data, here's a nice little chart that has school term schedules/vacation days/etc. for several different countries:
http://www.inca.org.uk/Table15.pdf


+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:25 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'm reading everything you're saying, but fail to see how more time helps any of that. I wasn't suggesting that "the way it's done" was good, bad or whatever, just that there's no connection for more time == better. It's an arbitrary solution to an unidentified problem.

And really, who is complaining that schools in the burbs are failing? I started in the Cleveland schools, during desegregation no less, and finished in the burbs. Want to take a stab at which environment had the better success rate? I brought up the DC article because I think it's very representative of the complete meltdown in the cities. The burbs have their problems, but when anyone says, "our schools are failing," are they really talking about the burbs? I don't think so.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:32 PM

More time helps if your school isn't broken---because more time on task and more opportunities for critical feedback improve learning.

I started in the ...

For someone who calls people out on anecdotal evidence, you're using an awful lot of it today.


+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:35 PM
Jeff's avatar

The fact that Cleveland schools suck and I know it first hand is anecdotal? I've also worked in two suburban school districts, and coached countless kids from all over the region. I think when it comes to this area, I'm pretty qualified to gauge the state of things.

And if your school isn't broken, then why do you need more time? Again, where is the evidence that this time helps?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:48 PM

No, the fact that you are using your personal experience to argue a point about how large systems work is anecdotal.

Come on, Jeff. You bitch at people all the time for doing things like this, and you expect to get away with it yourself? As you often say: "you're better than that."

Goose, gander, pot, kettle, etc.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:48 PM
+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I say we just send our kids to learning camps when they're babies. That way their heads can be bombarded with 'learing' their entire childhood.

If more time = better then 24/7 for 21 years would be the best.

I think you see where I'm going with this. At what point is it enough?


+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:54 PM

I think you missed this:

If you don't currently have a mess, and what you are doing is working,then doing a little more of it is a good thing, as long as you don't sacrifice balance in the kids' lives. And 12 weeks of completely free time each year just doesn't sound like a sacrifice of balance to me.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:54 PM
+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:00 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, I get that. But what we're doing has been 'good enough' for a while. So we change for the better. But what happens when that's no longer 'good enough'..and after that..and then after that?

The point is a line has to be drawn somewhere. How many times can you move that line and who gets to decide?


+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:00 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
I say we just send our kids to learning camps when they're babies. That way their heads can be bombarded with 'learing' their entire childhood.

If more time = better then 24/7 for 21 years would be the best.

I think you see where I'm going with this. At what point is it enough?

hmmm, reminds me of the beginning of the movie Soldier.

;)


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3:15 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'm not trying to get away with anything. What exactly is anecdotal about the graduation rates of urban vs. suburban systems? In fact, I was astounded at the gap in Columbus when we were down there touring buildings prior to our own campaign to build a new high school. The districts on the I-270 belt were loaded, expanding and sending their kids to college at a rate twice that of the city school district.

So in the governor's back yard, if these districts are all required to have the same number of days today, how does adding days change anything?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+0
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:14 PM

Jeff i guess his hope is to hope for improvement. However, President Obama said it best in the three minutes i watched his speech yesterday, the hope is that schools will get better qualified teachers. If the teachers arent good then fire em, point blank.

I agree that making them not go longer isnt going to change a damn thing. Once crappy learners and not caring they always will. The truth is the parents need to become more involved, not just throw them on sports teams as well. I guess i kinda went off a bit last night, but the truth is they need to learn to get anywhere and they probably think this will help.


Resident Arrow Dynamics Whore

+0
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 7:55 AM

Mangnun, I agree with you on the last bit. Here's the catch-22. We can't go "clockwork orange," on the kids and strap 'em in, and force them to learn & retain the knowledge.

If we want them to spend more tim in class, why not do like Japanese and hold school six days a week?


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

+0
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 8:41 AM

"Jeff i guess his hope is to hope for improvement. However, President Obama said it best in the three minutes i watched his speech yesterday, the hope is that schools will get better qualified teachers. If the teachers arent good then fire em, point blank. "

I know a few teachers, both in the public and private sector and most of them feel a strong sense of frustration when it comes to student conduct. They've had students threaten them and the schools do nothing. Talk to the parents of these kids and it's all the same: "we had him/her in court and he's unruly, so we can't do anything about it. If he/she hits you, you can't sue us. Court says so..."

Is this the case everywhere in Ohio? No, but in many areas it is a fact of life. You cannot do anything to these kids. Send them to the office, and even if they go, the office send them right back.

Maybe what Obama meant by better qualified was making sure they are all lawyers who can get themselves out of legal hassles from disciplining the punks.


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

+0
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:41 AM

Nothing is anecdotal about those Jeff, but that's the first time you relied on data rather than "I know that..." Thanks.

But what we're doing has been 'good enough' for a while.

Really? In the words of Jules Winnfield, "Well, allow me to retort!"

Here's the first paragraph of the OECD's briefing notes for the United States, as part of its report "PISA 2006 Science Competencies for Tomorrow's World"

The US can draw on the most highly educated labor force among the principal industrialized nations, when measured in terms of the formal qualifications attained by 25-to-64-year-olds in the labor force. However, this advantage is largely a result of the “first-mover advantage” which the US gained after World War II by massively increasing enrolments. While the US had, well into the 1960s, the highest high school completion rates among OECD countries, in 2005 it ranked, with a high school completion rate of 76%, 21st among the 27 OECD countries with available data, followed only by Spain, New Zealand, Portugal, Turkey and Mexico. Similar trends are visible in college education, where the US slipped between 1995 and 2005 from the 2nd to the 14th rank, not because US college graduation rates declined, but because they rose so much faster in many OECD countries. Graduate output is particularly low in science, where the number of people with a college degree per 100,000 employed 25-to-34-year-olds was 1,100 compared with 1,295 on average across OECD countries and more than 2,000 in Australia, Finland, France and Korea (Education at a Glance, 2007).

Translation: we used to be a World Power in terms of education. And, in some ways we still are. But we are very close to losing that status, and then we're going to have to play catch-up when it comes to competing with the rest of the world.

There are dozens and dozens and dozens of reports just like this, and they all say the same thing. This has received very little traction in the US, because, in effect, everyone thinks what we are doing is good enough. What are are doing is not good enough.

Here's a little anecdotal spice for that report: ten years ago, we used to have the very best students from Shanghai Jiao Tong, the Indian Institutes of Technology, and other top-notch undergraduate schools apply to Michigan for graduate degrees in computer science. A lot of those students would then go on to stay in the US after they graduated, adding to our country's talent pool. Increasingly, we're facing competition for those students from Switzerland (EPFL and ETH), the Netherlands (Vrije), Germany (Max Planck), France (University of Paris), and some students are even staying in China and India as those countries continue to ramp up their post-graduate systems. Many of these universities are recruiting top-notch faculty that used to be in US institutions. The US is no longer "the place you have to be" to be a world-class computer scientist---globalization isn't just bending metal or being a code monkey, it's hitting education as well

Last edited by Brian Noble, Wednesday, February 11, 2009 10:42 AM
+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2020, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...