So much opposition, yet Sen. Howard Stephenson continues to promote his idea to
force public secondary schools onto year-round schedules. Why?
Having taught in a year round school, I agree with the author. Every place that
has gone on year round eventually goes off of it. The public doesn't like it.
It doesn't save money. It isn't academically sound. Dump it!
The LAST thing I want as a parent is to have my kids in school year round.
Great article Mr. Jensen. Obviously, the legislators well intentioned effort to
decrease the cost and increase the utilization of valuable infrastructure
(schools) by teaching students throughout the year instead of for only nine
months has not implemented in such a way as to improve education or reduce
costs. It appears to be a problem with the way education has implemented the
idea as oppose to the basic concept.
To build on Steve's point, the Union didn't push it but did play off of it. They
immediately noted that teachers should get a pay raise because they had less
time to themselves. They work 9 months of the year and it was now getting close
to 10 months.
When year-round schools were instituted in Wasatch front school districts, they
were not implemented to improve educational outcomes. They were just a
strategy to stuff more students into the existing overcrowded schools. By
having some of the students off at any given time, the overcrowding would be
alleviated somewhat. Any projected educational benefit was simply an attempt
to put a best foot forward with parents. The impetus for year round school
came from legislators, not from the educational system.
Innovation is praiseworthy, but it can be just as praiseworthy to recognize and
admit that your brilliant idea doesn't actually work. Reversing a bad course is
also a mark of intelligence.