Skip to comments.AZ Governor wants to add six weeks and longer days to school year
Posted on 08/24/2005 11:21:48 AM PDT by hsmomx3
PHOENIX - Gov. Janet Napolitano is going to unveil a plan today that could make summer vacation for students go the way of slide rules and clapping erasers outside the building.
The proposal being announced this morning in Washington seeks a 210-day school year, particularly in school districts with a large percentage of students who perform poorly. That is six weeks longer than the 180 days now required under Arizona law and six weeks longer than the national average.
But that's not all: The report by a national task force which Napolitano co-chairs also wants a longer school day. It does not specify a length but refers to a chain of charter schools where students attend from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. - and half a day on Saturday.
Panel members also are recommending full-day kindergarten, something Napolitano already is trying to implement in Arizona. But they also want preschool available for all 3- and 4-year-old children.
The report's authors acknowledge there is a cost: It puts the price tag for just beginning to implement the recommendations at $325 billion over the next decade.
And just the preschool proposal is figured at $11.6 billion a year, even if limited only to students from low-income families.
But the study says every dollar spent on preschool returns $7, both in terms of higher earning as well as avoided costs of crime and remedial education.
Other costs are not spelled out. But there are some guideposts.
For example, Arizona voters approved a measure five years ago to extend the school year by just five days, to the current 180. And that carries a price tag of $86.3 million.
And providing state-funded full-day kindergarten in Arizona is estimated to cost close to $200 million.
Napolitano told Capitol Media Services Monday night she has "some problems'' with the fact that students in Arizona are in school only 180 days. But neither was she ready to say that 210 days is the appropriate number.
"We need to identify the standards that an Arizona diploma represents and then calculate what that means in terms of students in seats, with qualified teachers, learning the stuff,'' Napolitano said. The governor stressed that if additional classroom time is mandated, it needs to be "time well spent'' and not just having students sitting at desks for more hours.
Becky Hill, the governor's education adviser, said panel members, who had hearings in several cities including Phoenix, studied the experience of charter schools which have more flexibility in their schedules.
"And the longer day and the longer year is something that repeatedly charter schools are seeing lots and lots of success with,'' Hill said. "And it needs to be applied in a broader, more global scale.''
She said this is particularly true for students who are falling behind who "need a little extra time to catch up.''
The task force was put together by the Institute for America's Future and the Center for American Progress. Toby Chaudhuri, who handles media for the Institute, described both as "progressive'' think tanks. But he acknowledged that both tend to lean toward Democratic principles, much in the same way he said the Heritage Foundation supports Republican causes.
But Chaudhuri noted that while Napolitano is a Democratic politico, the other two co-chairs are not: Philip Murphy, senior director of the Goldman Sachs Group and Roger Wilkins, a professor of history and American culture at George Mason University.
If Arizona used Daylight Savings Time they would have longer days and wouldn't need to do this :-)
So the problem is not the methods or the materials, but the amount of time they have with the kiddies, huh? And it just so happens that having the kiddies for all this extra time is going to cost more money? How convenient.
If 180 days of bad practice doesn't work, why would 210 days do any better?
When I went to school.......
Mass was at 6:00 am. School started at 7:30 am and got out at 3:00 with a half hr lunch. That's 7 hrs a day of no-fluff classes lasting 50 minutes. We got out for summer apx June 10 to day after Labor day. I don't know what they do today in AZ, but I bet its much less.
Lots of days off during the school year here in Colorado. Lots of "planning" days. Wonder if all of these extra days are necessary and productive?
Don't want to put down teachers. They work very hard. At least at my son's school. And they are usually working during the "planning" days.
Taxpayer-funded babysitting for parents whose only contribution to child rearing seems to be conception. And the final results at the end of 12 years are graduates who couldn't pass a 1950 eighth grade graduation test. Just keep piling federal money into the rotten system and the NEA is sure something will accidentally evolve that may look like an education.
If Janet wants it that settles it for me. I am against it.
It's like the old joke that a guy breaks up with a girl and the girl says, "YOU WON'T FIND ANYONE LIKE ME!" the guy says, "If I didn't want you, why would I want someone just like you? Has a guy ever broken up with a gal and as he walks aways, turns around and says, by the way, do you have a twin sister??!!!"
That should increase the cost per pupil to about $8K. So I guess I will be getting a $40K refund from the state for sending my five kids to private school. I will be waiting by the mail box.
More money for the teacher's union.
This moron liberal hack certainly is not in tune with reality -- if she was, she would be attacking the real problem which is teaching quality, school accountability and gross mis-management in school systems.
We KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE --- and they are NOT the number of hours attended per day. What a bunch of crap -- another liberal trying to hide the real problem, get more tax revenues from the public and stand up crow about something that is totally USELESS.
Welcome to liberalism --
This has got to be one of the dumbest things I've heard of in a long, long time. Yea, right. Add six more weeks of school, longer hours....yes, that'll cure the problem with our publik edgeukashun sistem. Another fine example of stupid is as stupid does. sheesh!
"But the study says every dollar spent on preschool returns $7, both in terms of higher earning as well as avoided costs of crime and remedial education"
From the Department of numbers we just pilled out of our butts
Like Bill Bennett said about a longer school year:
"You don't make a cake any better by making more of it."
On a positive note, if a Democratic governor increases the length of the school year, more of today's generation of children might become Republicans.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.