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View Full Version : Longer school time in Chicago?



Young
12-02-2005, 05:58 PM
I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about how the mayor of Chicago wants kids to either A) Go longer school days, B) Go on Saturdays, or C) Go through the summer. The reason being is he went to China and was impressed with the kids over there or something...

I would be pissed if this ever happened here in Indiana. I think we go to school long enough. Everyone is sick of school long before the last bell rings on the last day of school.

Also, we were discussing this in class the other day, that the state should have schools go from say 7-4 and then we have Fridays off. I would hate to get up any earlier but heck I could make up for it on Fridays. I think there would be a ton of benefits for everyone involed:
- Schools cut down transportation costs by 20%.
- Schools cut cafateria, electricity, and heating down too.
- Kids would be more refreshed with a 3 day weekend. I think that it would be muc easier to go to school for 4 days a week instead of 5. It can be argued otherwise but it is much easier to rest for a full day than it is for 2 extra hours a day.
- Kids in sports get a chance to work an extra day if they choose.

So I am curious to what some of you think of both these things. Of course this probably doesn't really effect alot of you though.

sweabs
12-02-2005, 06:07 PM
In the real world, your work week is 5 days - might as well get used to it early.

Lord Helmet
12-02-2005, 06:22 PM
It won't happen, sadly.

I'd like it but our dumbass schools seem set on 180 days of school.

I hate it so much.

I'm in a German class and one of the days we learned about how school is different there, and one thing I really liked is that they have different schedules everyday.

So it's not the same every day, I mean every day, same old **** does get to you after a long school year.

The only problem I had with the German schools is they test a lot harder and they'd laugh at our multiple choice SAT's.

Tim
12-02-2005, 06:23 PM
How well does Chinese students compete with American?
If they are doing better AND it can be shown that extending school hours would improve grades/performance then its worth considering.

If you want to consider cost cutting then instead of three months off during the summer, make it winter to save on heating bills and less risk of weather related accidents.

Anthem
12-03-2005, 12:07 AM
Having more hours of the same crap would do nothing. The problem's bigger than how long kids spent in school.

Most of the time I spent in school was a waste.

SoupIsGood
12-03-2005, 12:42 AM
^ Exactly.

I have a schedule full of AP classes, and I actually learn something maybe once a day.

Anthem
12-03-2005, 12:52 AM
I have a schedule full of AP classes, and I actually learn something maybe once a day.
But that's still better than if you weren't taking AP classes. The only chance you have to learn anything in high school is take the very hardest classes they offer.

I learned the most my senior year, where I had independent study in physics, chemistry, and english.

SoupIsGood
12-03-2005, 01:06 AM
Actually I've learned a lot sometimes in some of the easier classes.

The problem is most of the teachers are content with wasting time, as opposed to actually teaching.

They don't really offer many independt study classes here....

Bball
12-03-2005, 03:17 AM
I've always felt that it should be looked at whether school days were too long and the school year too long.

I also think making up snow days is silly. Especially if it is only an few extra days.

-Bball

sweabs
12-03-2005, 03:25 AM
I don't know if this applies to American high schools as well, but the class times are way too long in secondary school. I remember from grades 9-12, my classes were all close to 90 minutes each. That's way too long for any teenage kid to stay focussed on one subject - especially something like Canadian History ;)

Also, from the teacher's perspective, it's difficult to contain 35 obnoxious, hormonal 16 year olds and keep them interested for that long. I usually found that the teacher would teach a lesson for about 40 minutes, and then "assign work" which usually ended up being free time and "who's gonna buy us beer this weekend?" chatter.

Arcadian
12-03-2005, 03:32 AM
The biggest challenge in the American school system is that it has taken on more custodial functions at the expense of education. In the best case the basic reason kids are at school because their parents are at work. (The worst case is to keep them away from their parents.)

Young
12-03-2005, 11:55 AM
[QUOTE=rcarey]I don't know if this applies to American high schools as well, but the class times are way too long in secondary school. I remember from grades 9-12, my classes were all close to 90 minutes each. That's way too long for any teenage kid to stay focussed on one subject - especially something like Canadian History ;)QUOTE]

It depends on what schedule your on. For example, we have 4 classes each day for 90 minuates but we rotate everyother day. It's nice because you have more time to do your homework and plus if you hate a teacher you don't have to see them everyday.

sweabs
12-03-2005, 12:10 PM
The biggest challenge in the American school system is that it has taken on more custodial functions at the expense of education. In the best case the basic reason kids are at school because their parents are at work. (The worst case is to keep them away from their parents.)

That's a good point.

I think that some teachers today are approaching each day with the wrong mentality. Instead of asking themselves, "How much can I get the kids to learn today?", they are asking "How can I keep everyone busy today?"

The key is to intertwine both, but at times some classes I've observed seem more like a babysitting service.

317Kim
12-03-2005, 10:30 PM
Lawrence Township is deciding on whether we have eight 45 minute classes a day or 4 1hr and 32 min classes a day. They also just did something stupid, half of Lawrence Norths upcoming freshman have been moved to Lawrence Central so even if your older sibling is at LN, you'd still have to be a student at LC. :tongue: glad it doesnt affect me because my neighborhood is one that they are considering to split.

Hicks
12-04-2005, 12:29 AM
Am I the only one who went to a HS with 7 50-minute periods?

Suaveness
12-04-2005, 12:50 AM
American schooling sucks. No other way around it, IMO. The problem is no one learns, because no one has the desire to. If you go to other countries, like China and India, they have such an unbelievable desire to study. That's because there are such limited prestegious colleges, you have to work your *** off to get in. Hell, you have to APPLY to get into a study program that helps you APPLY for college. It's crazy tough there. And frankly, the education here sucks. I went to LN, thought it was horrendous. Learned nothing. What's the point of school then? I believe the schooling starts at the top, and IMO, the teachers suck too. Somehow, they need to pound and drill the desire to learn into the students. That's my opinion.

Hicks
12-04-2005, 01:01 AM
American schooling sucks. No other way around it, IMO. The problem is no one learns, because no one has the desire to. If you go to other countries, like China and India, they have such an unbelievable desire to study. That's because there are such limited prestegious colleges, you have to work your *** off to get in. Hell, you have to APPLY to get into a study program that helps you APPLY for college. It's crazy tough there. And frankly, the education here sucks. I went to LN, thought it was horrendous. Learned nothing. What's the point of school then? I believe the schooling starts at the top, and IMO, the teachers suck too. Somehow, they need to pound and drill the desire to learn into the students. That's my opinion.

As someone who will be an Indiana teacher starting 2007-2008, thanks. :-p

I could go to length (especially if I'm backed by the other educators here) as to why I think you're wrong, but frankly I'd be wasting my time. You all "know" it sucks.

Pig Nash
12-04-2005, 01:20 AM
Am I the only one who went to a HS with 7 50-minute periods?

no that's how mine is.

SycamoreKen
12-04-2005, 01:28 AM
As someone who will be an Indiana teacher starting 2007-2008, thanks. :-p

I could go to length (especially if I'm backed by the other educators here) as to why I think you're wrong, but frankly I'd be wasting my time. You all "know" it sucks.

Hicks, make sure you get him to teach you how to "pound the desire to learn" into someone. I'd sure like to use it on my 4th graders. Heck, I'm sure Bird and Carlise might like to have it as well.

As for the length of the school year, I think that is looking at it the wrong way. I think the school year should be spread out more over the whole year instead of taking 3 months off every summer. You could schedule 2 week breaks at the end of each 9 week grading period for the students with a 3 week one after the 4th 9 weeks. This would give the students a break, but not one giant one that lets them "forget everything." The 2 week break would also give teachers a chance to do an inventory of how things are going and then plan how to improve, reinforce ideas.

I know this is radical, but 3 months off for students in a low income area like the one I teach in is a big hinderance to their learning. Some don't look at a book for 3 months.

Oh yea, switching to the metric system would help too. Is it any wonder that our math and science scores rank lower than other countries when our kids have to learn 2 measurement systems? The metric system is easier to work with anyway.

sweabs
12-04-2005, 01:51 AM
Suave, there are some bad teachers out there but there's a lot of very good ones as well.

Here's my biggest beef with the road to becoming a teacher (and I'm almost there...). By the way, what I'm about to say applies to the Canadian system; I have no idea how it compares or differs to what you guys do in the US.

I have known for about 8 years now that I wanted to become a teacher. So, I prepared myself from the beginning; I have hundreds of hours of volunteer experience that relates to working with kids. Not to mention, I have now stuck with the same low-paying job that allows me to work alongside children all for the sake of experience - and of course, the fact that I love it! 8 years later now, and with all that experience under my belt, and I'm almost finished my undergrad.

Like I said, I'm unsure of how the American system works, but in Canada once you are done your 4 year undergrad, you apply for a year of Teachers College. Fortunately for me, the best teachers college in Canada is in my town...however, their reputation as being "the best" must have gone to their heads because all they care about when accepting applicants is grades.

I'm a good student; I have an average right around 80%...but to get into this teachers college a minimum average of 84-85% is required in most cases.

What about all the experience I have in working with kids? What about all my references from principals, teachers, social workers, etc.? What about my experience in managerial positions? Nope - it's all about grades at this school, as they're trying to maintain that label as "the best".

I suppose I could apply to another teachers college in Canada, but then I have to waste $10 000 for residence and everything else, and also run the risk of not finding a job (apparently schools are looking solely for those people coming out of the teachers college in my town).

What's my problem with this all, and how does it relate to Suave's post? Experience is key...if someone like me, with 8 years of teaching/child experience is denied for the guy with an 88% average and no experience - that says a lot. Teachers need to WANT to be teachers, and by enforcing the grade aspect of things, what is happening is a lot of people are finishing their undergrad and applying to graduate school. They get denied, so what do they do? Meh...might as well apply to teachers college.

Those people, for the most part are not going to make good teachers, and that's why you get a lot of bad ones as Suave said.

Teaching is one of the most difficult professions out there; but if you enjoy the work, it can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding.

:soapbox:

Lord Helmet
12-04-2005, 02:56 AM
I've always felt that it should be looked at whether school days were too long and the school year too long.

I also think making up snow days is silly. Especially if it is only an few extra days.

-Bball
The stupid *** schools don't seem to think so.

God, I hate them.

Hicks
12-04-2005, 12:17 PM
To folks complaining about it being too long already, we have a LOT we have to teach each year. A lot. See the Indiana State Standards. http://www.doe.state.in.us/standards/welcome2.html

Teachers need all the days they can get to address it all, and I'm sure it's the same in Secondary Ed. as well.

Hicks
12-04-2005, 04:21 PM
I didn't say anything about standardized testing. I'm talking about the standards we have to teach throughout the year. I'm sure they line up with the testing, but that's not my point. And the standards are hardly NOT knowlege.

SycamoreKen
12-04-2005, 05:25 PM
The stupid *** schools don't seem to think so.

God, I hate them.

Actually, the state sets the standard for minimum number of days, not the school. Snow/bad weather days are worthless if they are just tacked onto the end of the year. Even more so if your state has standardized testing and the the days that are missed come before the test. The test is all the government, not teachers, worry about, so the days need to be made up before the test to be worthwhile.

Hicks is correct about the standards that need to be meet. If Indiana is as bad as Texas, there are too many things to cover in the time given. As for teaching to the test, I spend a lot of time teaching my students HOW to take the test, because there is a certain way to attack a standardized test. I do this as I teach the content the test is based on, the standards. The test itself has made teaching less fun for teachers and bright students a like because you have to work to the lowest ability groups in the class. We try to differentiate for all the levels as much as possible, but their isn't enough time in the day to get to everyone at their level to the greatest extent.

pollardfreek
12-05-2005, 08:35 PM
Hicks, make sure you get him to teach you how to "pound the desire to learn" into someone. I'd sure like to use it on my 4th graders. Heck, I'm sure Bird and Carlise might like to have it as well.

As for the length of the school year, I think that is looking at it the wrong way. I think the school year should be spread out more over the whole year instead of taking 3 months off every summer. You could schedule 2 week breaks at the end of each 9 week grading period for the students with a 3 week one after the 4th 9 weeks. This would give the students a break, but not one giant one that lets them "forget everything." The 2 week break would also give teachers a chance to do an inventory of how things are going and then plan how to improve, reinforce ideas.

I know this is radical, but 3 months off for students in a low income area like the one I teach in is a big hinderance to their learning. Some don't look at a book for 3 months.

Oh yea, switching to the metric system would help too. Is it any wonder that our math and science scores rank lower than other countries when our kids have to learn 2 measurement systems? The metric system is easier to work with anyway.

We have something like that around here for the elementary schools. It's called the "track" system. There are four "tracks" an A track, a B track, a C track, and a D track. Each track goes to school for 3 months, then they get a one month break. They rotate it so while one track is off, the other 3 tracks are on. It's a pretty cool system, I like it better than the traditional style.

SycamoreKen
12-06-2005, 08:19 PM
We have something like that around here for the elementary schools. It's called the "track" system. There are four "tracks" an A track, a B track, a C track, and a D track. Each track goes to school for 3 months, then they get a one month break. They rotate it so while one track is off, the other 3 tracks are on. It's a pretty cool system, I like it better than the traditional style.

That idea also helps with overcrowding.