Published: Sunday, Dec. 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MST
It's been many years, but within my memory, since the schools in Utah went
from a 172 day school year to a 180 day school year. Perhaps it's now
time to consider a longer school year. Most developed countries use a 200 day
school year, some 210 days, some 220 days. As a result, students in a country
or a state with 180 day school year get 200 fewer days in a 10 year period than
students with 200 school days per year. Our students have more than a one-year
time disadvantage when they complete 10 years of school at the end of grade 9.
K-9 is the 10 year period I'm counting. It's fairly obvious that our
students are at least one year behind the rest of the world by the time they do
graduate.To clarify one other concern, days for teacher preparation,
end of term/year grading and reporting and other days that teachers are in
schools without their students are not counted in the 180 days of school. When
career ladder days were funded, they also were not counted in the 180 days.
I think teachers would be excited about a longer school year if increased pay
went with it. Hopefully, keeping the same level of pay wouldn't be
expected because Utah teachers have been crushed long enough.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments