Obama thinks the school day should be extended and the summer vacation shortened.
It won’t take me much work to write a post about this, because I pretty much already did it, three years ago…
(August 01, 2006) Stopped at a store while driving through Georgia today, and the man mentioned that this is the first day of school for the local children. Googling around, it appears that lots of Georgia school systems are starting classes sometime this week. And the longer-school-year trend is by no means limited to Georgia.
This is really very sad. Children need time to be with their families. They need time to develop their dreams. They need time to learn things that are not part of any formal program.
Educational “experts” will try to justify a longer school year with the argument that “there’s just so much more to know these days.” Such claims are highly exaggerated. The truth is, most public K-12 schools make very poor use of the time of their students. They waste huge proportions of the millions of hours which have been entrusted to them–waste them through the mindless implementation of fads and theories, waste them through inappropriate teacher-credentialing processes, waste them through refusal to maintain high standards of performance and behavior.
When an organization or institution proves itself to be a poor steward of the resources that have been entrusted to it, the right answer is not to give it more resources to waste.
Just a few points to add to the above:
1)I can’t imagine anyone with less moral authority than a leader of the Democratic Party to demand that kids hand over an even higher proportion of their lives to the public school system. It is this party that has resolutely blocked any meaningful reform of the system, either via serious performance standards or via enablement of large-scale competition.
2)Once again, we are seeing Obama demonstrate a far greater interest in expanding the power of government than in making more productive use of the powers and resources it already has. I’ve sometimes encountered people like this in business–the guy who unceasingly lobbies for a larger organization, but has little interest in making effective use of the resources with which he has already been entrusted. Occasionally such people get promoted a couple of levels before they self-destruct: almost never do they contribute anything useful to the larger enterprise.
3)It seems Obama will not be happy until every moment and every activity, throughout the life of every individual, is under the control of a government official.