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Education The Almighty Buck News

More Schools Go To 4-Day Week To Cut Costs 614

Posted by Soulskill
from the education-has-a-poor-compression-ratio dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "As schools return to session in South Dakota, more than one-fourth of students in the state will only be in class from Monday through Thursday as budget constraints lead school districts to hack off a day from the school week. Larry Johnke, superintendant of the Irene-Wakonda school district, says the change will save his schools more than $50,000 per year. In order to make up for the missing day, schools will add 30 minutes to each of the other four days and shorten the daily lunch break. 'In this financial crisis, we wanted to maintain our core content and vocational program, so we were forced to do this,' says Johnke. Experts say research is scant on the effect of a four-day school week on student performance, but many of the 120 districts that have the shortened schedule nationwide say they've seen students who are less tired and more focused, which has helped raise test scores and attendance. Others say that not only did they fail to save a substantial amount of money by being off an extra day, they also saw students struggle because they weren't in class enough and didn't have enough contact with teachers."
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More Schools Go To 4-Day Week To Cut Costs

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  • Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vikisonline (1917814) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:18AM (#37189732)
    To save $50,000 a year, they make an already bad education system worse. The future implications of that are..... I mean that much money for an entire school in one year is not that much. It's like having one less teacher. I'd for one prefer larger classes over this.
    • by alen (225700)

      some of these high schools have a graduating class of only 100 or so. mine had about 500 or close to 1000. i guess when there is only one person for every 10 miles it's a big tax increase

    • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dam.capsule.org (183256) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:23AM (#37189772) Homepage
      Big finance people are already taking all the money, now they are also (indirectly) cutting down on education. Poor and uneducated people, rich and knowledgeable lords, well come back 500 years ago.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642)

        Big finance people are already taking all the money, now they are also (indirectly) cutting down on education. Poor and uneducated people, rich and knowledgeable lords, well come back 500 years ago.

        This assumes the purpose of schools is to educate. It seems more likely their purpose is to train, and to indoctrinate classist philosophies, indoctrinate assembly line attitudes toward work schedules much like the ancient factories (which have mostly left the country).

        I never let school get in the way of my education. The two are almost orthogonal.

        Now untrained people, yes that is an issue, but if there are no jobs and never will be for them, no real loss. As long as there are enough doctors for the few

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Oh, you don't have to go back 500 years to get their ideal society. You only really need to go back to the 1890's or so, when Robber Barons ran everything, corruption in politics was rampant, and a few very large banking organizations (most notably J.P. Morgan's) were able to violate laws with impunity. Both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt did a lot to put a stop to it, and there were also lots of socialists and anarchists such as Emma Goldman, Upton Sinclair, and later Eugene Debs running around arguing that

    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dreamt (14798) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:31AM (#37189832)

      Not only that, but how much extra will it cost parents who need to pay for care for younger children who would otherwise be in school. We know some parents like to treat schools as babysitters, but in any case, now they will really need one. Guess they maybe shouldn't have complained about a slight tax increase to pay for their kids education.

      • At least they can look good in comparison to Texas. Not only have billions been cut from education, the State Board of Education's curriculum changes take effect this year. The founding fathers no longer include Washington or Jefferson, mention of the labor movement has been expunged, and the study of important figures like Jerry Falwell have been added.

        South Dakota's new motto: We're not Texas!

      • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @10:05AM (#37190748) Homepage Journal

        Not only that, but how much extra will it cost parents who need to pay for care for younger children who would otherwise be in school. We know some parents like to treat schools as babysitters, but in any case, now they will really need one. Guess they maybe shouldn't have complained about a slight tax increase to pay for their kids education.

        Dude, you so nailed it. My school district decided that teachers needed more time during the week for training, so they changed the school schedule. Now class lets out at 3:15, except for Tuesdays when it lets out at 2:00. I can't tell you how happy I am to have to leave work early in the middle of the week.

        I know teachers aren't babysitters, but in a very tangible way the school systems themselves are. The law says parents have to take their kids there at set times every weekday, and that leads to things like employers scheduling shifts around school hours. I know lots of couples who arrange their work schedules so that one parent drops their kid off on the way to work, then the other parent picks the kid up on their way home. So now that everyone's calendar is designed around this government-imposed schedule, they change it on a whim and then get pissy when parents complain about the new inconvenience?

        Want to really cut costs? Fire half the administrators. The Dept. of Education says average per-pupil spending is over $10,000 [ed.gov], and average class size is 20 pupils [ed.gov]. If you can't run a school for $200,000 per classroom - while giving teachers the good salaries they've earned - then you're incompetent and shouldn't be running it.

        • by shess (31691)

          In many cases, public schools would do better if they *did* think of themselves as a daycare with an educational component. Right now it seems in vogue to imagine schools as sort of mini-universities, treating the kids as little informed consumers (at best - at worse, the kids are treated like waldos remotely operated by their parents. I never could figure out how teachers expected me to change minor quirks in my child's school-time behavior). But, well, even motivated and curious 3rd graders simply don'

        • by RogerWilco (99615)

          I'm not so sure, I think $200,000 per classroom isn't such an unreasonable amount.

          The teacher's average salary is about $50,000. Add to that health care coverage, pensions, and the employer administration and I think you're around $100,000.
          Now there's heating, electricity, water, cleaning, maybe some form of internet/network & It staff, someone administering the pupils, classroom schedules, maintaining the grounds and building, teaching materials, maybe some software licences, replacing and maintaining

    • If they are able to keep extra programs and such? Plus the dollar amounts are all relative to the schools involved. 50K would be a rounding error in NYC schools but in Podunk wherever results in a class being taught for fuel for school buses.

      We have counties here whose fuel bills are in the millions, going to four day weeks would save money wasted on buses; let alone what parents and students who drive spend; and allow them to be spent more effectively.

    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by chrb (1083577) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:38AM (#37189884)

      There is no evidence that a 4-day school week makes education worse. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. It would be an interesting task to figure out the optimal hours for children to be educated - it may be that less daily hours may be helpful or not, and it may be that cutting the long holidays may be beneficial or not. Perhaps a 7-day school week would be optimal. But this kind of research should be done as controlled experiments with the aim of figuring out the best way to educate children. Doing it in a haphazard way because of lack of funding is not useful.

      The U.S. should be looking to how other countries with better educated children fare - here are the rankings from 2010 [guardian.co.uk] - how does the education system in South Korea and Finland work? Why are the kids there ranking better than kids in the rest of the world? How do their weekly work timetables compare? What about those long holidays?

      • by trout007 (975317)

        US kids get dumber the more years they spend at school. We are pretty competitive in the world when it comes to elementary school children. Basically before puberty hits and our anti-intellectual culture takes over. Maybe less hours in school will make the kids smarter.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        What about all the parents who suddenly find they have to be home on Fridays instead of working?

        • by vlm (69642)

          What about all the parents who suddenly find they have to be home on Fridays instead of working?

          Bring your kid to work day, every Friday? Its not as insane as it sounds. I worked at a place with onsite day care, and it worked out pretty well. I also worked at a place where the owners kids just kinda "hung out" and learned the business whenever school was not in session. Pretty much as soon as they're old enough to understand "shut up, don't touch, just watch" they're ready to be kinda junior apprentices...

          Going the other direction it forces a national dialog on working at home for those who can.

          • However, there are those of us who have to work on-site. We don't work in climate controlled offices and bringing our kids to work would be dangerous for them.

            Many middle class people work for employers who offer no childcare options, to assume that your fringe benefits are commonplace is a mistake.

      • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by lpp (115405) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @09:12AM (#37190186) Homepage Journal

        There is no evidence that a 4-day school week makes education worse. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. It would be an interesting task to figure out the optimal hours for children to be educated - it may be that less daily hours may be helpful or not, and it may be that cutting the long holidays may be beneficial or not. Perhaps a 7-day school week would be optimal. But this kind of research should be done as controlled experiments with the aim of figuring out the best way to educate children. Doing it in a haphazard way because of lack of funding is not useful.

        Actually, with regard to shortened holidays, research [nysed.gov] indicates that continued academic effort (reading in the linked case) positively impacts academic performance in the subsequent semester. Granted in this case the study was performed on students who continued to read during summer vacation and checked their performance when they came back, which is different from concentrated classroom study. Furthermore, according to the wiki [wikipedia.org] there is a measured "summer learning loss" attributed to summer holidays where students do not perform any notable academic tasks, suggesting that the inverse would hold true as well, that real academic tasks throughout the long summer holiday might help stave off the worst effects of this "learning loss".

        When looking at a 4 day school week, I don't think the loss of one day would in itself negative impact education. Obviously cutting it much further would probably tend to have negative consequences. I think keeping the kids in class longer hours during those 4 days will actually have a more negative effect, especially among younger students who don't tend to have the mental stamina for longer sessions of concentrated focus. The problem is I think they added the hours into the remaining days in order to be able say they are still covering the entire curriculum, but the focus problem may come into play and the kids won't be able to pick up the material as readily as before. Tacking on extra weeks at the end of the year would simply bring the financial problem back into play. What kids need are a regular steady diet of learning time, not huge gobs with vast periods of time between.

      • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @09:14AM (#37190212)

        It would be an interesting task to figure out the optimal hours for children to be educated - it may be that less daily hours may be helpful or not

        /.ers think back upon your own past. I never let school get in the way of my education. I could trivially sit down and blast 12 hours straight of learning programming or systems administration or ham radio or building electronics stuff or reading a Really good book. But there was no freaking way I could do that 5 or 7 days in a row.

        I would hazard a guess that at least /.er personality kids would excel at longer hours, fewer days.

        I would extend that assumption, that even "intellectually challenged" kids had no problem turnin wrenches on their car for 12 hours, or going fishing for 12 hours, or whatever else those kids did they seemed to do it for extended durations, but not every day of the week.

        Thinking back on ancient history, the ancients pretty much worked "until it was done" but on days with no work they F-ed off a lot. Not much nose to the grindstone every day of the year, at least with the ancients. Either you worked like a dog all day, or it was religious worship/celebration/festival day and you goofed off all day. If there is any genetic metabolic component to that, we should have the same preference.

      • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nbauman (624611) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @12:01PM (#37192162) Homepage Journal

        The U.S. should be looking to how other countries with better educated children fare - here are the rankings from 2010 [guardian.co.uk] - how does the education system in South Korea and Finland work? Why are the kids there ranking better than kids in the rest of the world? How do their weekly work timetables compare? What about those long holidays?

        Good questions. The first thing that visitors notice in those schools is that teachers are highly respected.

        The Republicans right now are demonizing teachers, with calls for the end of unions, calls for pay cuts, high-stakes testing where they blame teachers for the results and fire the lower 10% (like Jack Welch at GE), vouchers, charter schools and privatization.

        Finland has strong unions, so unions aren't the problem. There's strong evidence (NAEP scores) that charter schools are slightly worse overall than public schools. There's no country in the world with a successful universal privatized education system. Michelle Rhee, the conservative school reform darling, got caught cheating. High stakes testing leads to widespread cheating.

    • by yog (19073) *

      Don't jump to conclusions here. Home schooling is, at worst, generally equivalent to public schooling and at best, far superior (depends on the individuals involved). Whatever the children do on Friday can't be too bad for their personal emotional and intellectual development, unless they have really negligent parents. I suspect lots of 2-income families will start sending their kids to Friday camp at the local YMCA or church, to keep them occupied with games and activities. Hopefully not television for

      • by gfxguy (98788)

        Homeschooling produces more highly educated people simply because the parents are more involved with the education of their children instead of shipping them off to some government school "black box," where they usually have little idea what is actually going on and don't care.

        Public schools would actually work better if people stopped letting the government assume what would otherwise be their own responsibility. If you could somehow fail and punish parents along with the students, things might actually i

        • Public schools would actually work better if people stopped letting the government assume what would otherwise be their own responsibility.

          If schools acted like Parents should be responsible for their kids instead of the schools, then we might actually get there. The problem is, when parents care, and try to fix the short comings of schools, they are blasted out of the water by the educational "system". There is a huge "we know better than you" mentality in the system.

          Basically the system is stacked against

          • by gfxguy (98788)

            Yes... no disagreement. Parents blame the teachers, teachers blame the parents... but when the parents actually get involved, the teachers often say "stay out of it."

    • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Eraesr (1629799) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:49AM (#37189970) Homepage
      I'm as amazed about that amount of money as you are. $50,000 in a single year isn't all that much. It seems like they're trying to kill a fly with a tank here.
      • This also seems like an example of re-distribution of cost. I only skimmed TFA, and I didn't see any indication that this change is across the board or just high-school or what, but if it includes K-6, then two-income families are going to have to invest in putting their kids in some form of daycare one day a week so they can continue going to work. Which I'm sure when you account for all the kids that will be in daycare may add up to quite a bit more than $50,000/year. This seems like bad economics to me.
        • This also seems like an example of re-distribution of cost. I only skimmed TFA, and I didn't see any indication that this change is across the board or just high-school or what, but if it includes K-6, then two-income families are going to have to invest in putting their kids in some form of daycare one day a week so they can continue going to work. Which I'm sure when you account for all the kids that will be in daycare may add up to quite a bit more than $50,000/year. This seems like bad economics to me. On the other hand, some enterprising parents may open up home daycares for extra scratch and the increased demand may drive down the cost of daycare (yeah right), but I don't expect that will very much offset the $50,000+ in lost revenue for the other families.

          Sure, but the school isn't paying for their daycare, so this is still saving them money. Oh the families with 2 working parents and 3 kids will be ruined by this? Who cares.

          Provide less service for the same cost (in taxes). Yep, government is more like the corporate world every day.

    • It seems an especially false economy because it is rather hard to "close" a school(or any other largish building, particularly in a cold climate, that is actively used much of the time) for short periods.

      You can lock the doors and hang a "closed" sign, sure; but you've got to heat the place to keep the pipes from freezing, if in winter, there will likely be some lights you need to keep on, custodial and other support staff may need access to run around and do their thing, IT will want computers on to do
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      To save $50,000 a year...

      I'd like to know what that is as a percentage of total school costs.

      I'm guessing it isn't an impressive number when expressed as a percentage.

      • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

        I used to work as the network admin for a school with between 300-500 students. Out yearly budget was around $7 million USD. So I'd say this is nothing, though I was replaced for less than $50k to balance the budget a couple years ago as well...

      • Here's a better statistic. The internet says there are 199,616 kids in South Dakota [childrensdefense.org].

        So, if everyone chips in 25 cents per kid, they can go to school for that extra day.

        Are you kidding me? This is a serious "cut"?

        This reminds me more about Bill Maher's plate of food, they're talking about cutting the parsley (education), while ignoring the mashed potato (military spending), and macaroni (social security).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Does it make it worse?

      I don't know much about the US school system. But when Sweden went from a 6-day school week to a 5-day school week in 1967, the students was able to learn more faster.

      If you compare with ordinary work. A Swedish employer work less then half the time an US employee does (we have a 5 day, 30-40 hour, work week, but very frequent and long vacations and a much higher acceptance (both among employers and work mates) for sick and pregnancy leaves), but they are more then 5 times as efficient

    • by morari (1080535)

      Why? Four days a week is plenty. Most children are already forced to spent far too much time in public schools. How much time you spend there doesn't really matter when the entire system is geared toward the lowest common denominator. Besides, now instead of assigning an hour or two worth of homework, I'm sure the teachers will go for that missed days worth.

      The public educational system is terrible. Making students waste even more time within it won't fix the problem or create brighter students.

  • This may or may not work out for schools but I would love a 3-day weekend every week at my job!

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Which is going to be the big issue here ,most people have a 5 day work week and they can't just skip one day of work each week. So in practice, they have to ship their kids somewhere or have someone come watch them - but 30 babysitters are way more expensive that one teacher - or you'll have older kids at home unsupervised, which will have plenty issues of its own. So yeah it saves the school money, but at the cost of the parents...

    • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @09:03AM (#37190100)

      This may or may not work out for schools but I would love a 3-day weekend every week at my job!

      I'm living the dream... Note that if you work 4 day "weeks" the odds of getting bugged to log in at home on the 5th day of the week darn near approach 50%. So its not really a "4 day week" its more like "4 to 5 days a week, depending on problems"

      Daycare costs of small children drop at least 20%, more if you're creative about which hours and days you work. My coworkers thought I was crazy to take a $2K paycut to switch employers to a 4-day employer... Then I pointed out I was saving something like $7K year on day care cost by creative arrangement of my "working days", and saving at least $1K/year on car fuel and maint, and saving around four hours per week of sitting in my car in a traffic jam... Incredibly good deal.

      The longer day is not exactly oppressive... An extra hour before and after lunch, big deal, unless you're mr. clockwatcher you'll never mentally notice. This also means I miss the worst of "rush hour" traffic so bizarrely enough working two extra hours per day cuts into my free time by LESS than two hour per day, because commute drops from 45+ minutes to about 20 or less. So an "eight hour day" means about 9.5 hours outside the home, and a "ten hour day" means about 10.6 hours outside the home, an added cost of only about one hour "lost", in exchange for an extra day off per week.

      It depends on your job. I program a lot, on long projects, and it takes forever to "get in the groove" and once I'm going I don't want to stop and I hate senseless interruptions. Posting to /. gets me in the mood, I'm gonna refactor a data importer right after this... Anyway longer shifts, and weekend hours, work beautifully for my job. If your job is standing heavy manual labor, then an extra 20% effort per day might kill you, so it depends.

      Sleep and eating patterns take about a week to resolve, after which it feels perfectly normal.

    • by gfxguy (98788)

      I see tremendous benefits in four day work and school weeks, and also a tremendous saving in resources.

      While it's true that four 10 hour days might seem difficult compared to 5 eight hour days, an extra two hours a day is not really that bad; people might complain they'd be tired and cranky at the end of the day, but most of them already are, and that extra day off can have a huge positive impact on one's mental health. Yes, I am saying this from someone who, for several years, worked four day work weeks a

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        I'm interested in how common a practice this is; I take it you're in the US? What part? Have you found that employers everywhere allow working from home 1 day a week or is it limited to certain areas?

        Here where I live - central England - there are very few companies (although more than zero) that will allow anything like that, unfortunately. It's *very* standard to have 9:00 - 17:30, and pretty hard to convince any employers to be any less rigid.

    • "Thursday, Thursday, gotta get down on Thursday..."

  • Think about it, this can be a solution to unemployment.

    Before you start asking me "But what happened to the usual near-Marxist flavor of your posts? Do you not see that this will lead to more desperate workers that will have to yield more and more to the demands of MegaCorp?", seriously, think about it. We already have robots doing labor, let's focus on building new, more efficient ones, so we can afford to have one more weekend day in the long run. And in the short-term, new people can be hired to work par

    • by couchslug (175151)

      I LOVED working four ten-hour shifts instead of five eights.

      You can get plenty of work done with less interruption and three-day weekends rock.

      • by Eivind (15695)

        It's super for those who're young and independent, agreed. One size doesn't fit all, 4 long days REALLY suck if you've got kids of your own, for example.

        4 day weeks where the day off alternates between friday and monday rock even harder -- that way every second weekend is 4 days long. Enabling you to take a weekend-trip that feels almost like a vacation.

        2 days, or even 3, off is -slightly- to short for many kinds of getaways.

        • by vlm (69642)

          It's super for those who're young and independent, agreed. One size doesn't fit all, 4 long days REALLY suck if you've got kids of your own

          LOL I had exactly the opposite experience.

          Young and Single and 4 days = "the guys" are going out to the bar after work to watch "the game" and meet women, wanna come along? Oh wait you've gotta work an extra hour and then wake up for work really early tomorrow.

          Kids of your own = "I just saved 20% on my day care expenses." And anyone who's paid a day care bill recently knows that is no small change... Also you get to spend an extra day per week with your kids, which, assuming you and your kids like each o

  • by sxpert (139117) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:30AM (#37189822)
    we've had that in france for a while. it has been discovered that pupils end up extremely tired at the end of each day, and the whole thing is totally inefficient. in fact, we're having talks of going to a US style week, with morning classes and afternoon outdoor activities and stuff... also, switching to a 4 days week to save money is the most ludicrous and stupid thing I've heard. ah, no, I've heard worse. closing a school in a mountain village, and forcing parents to drive their kids 1 hour away every morning and back
  • But other schools in the state show that kids haven't suffered with a shortened school week. The Deuel school district in eastern S.D. switched to a four-day week four years ago, saving more than $100,000 and leading to no slump in academic achievement. In fact, Deuel's superintendent Dean Christensen tells the Associated Press that their failure rate has declined because they've used the spare day for extra tutoring.

    We'll give them a day off school and instead use that day for tutoring.

    Isn't that like

  • Fall of a nation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tp1024 (2409684) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:37AM (#37189874)
    Isn't it funny how the leaders of a fallen nation always claim they didn't see it coming? How they keep claiming to the very last day, that theirs is a strong nation that will never fall?

    You know what? They don't even lie.
    • Nobody walks over a cliff if they can see it approaching, duh!

      We'll just keep walking backwards...

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Politicians are not so mindless as they appear, they just know what's the right thing to say. Even when they know they have to keep running the ship against disaster to stay in office, they'll do it. That they "didn't see it coming" is a helluva lot better excuse than saying "yep I saw it coming, but I did it anyway". They're not that different from an employee keeping his head down until the project is a total failure $10 millions later instead of speaking up and getting laid off. It actually makes very li

      • by tp1024 (2409684)
        You should not attribute to malice, what you can adequately explain through a mechanism of self-reinforcing ignorance.

        As for example the easily observable process of politicians selecting their advisors on the basis of compliance with their ideology - instead of erm ... you know ... the real world?
    • by dcollins (135727)

      Every bluff always looks silly once it's been called down.

  • ... what you can't accomplish when you are unwilling to pay for anything.

    Although with the rather solid conservative majority in South Dakota, many of these people are probably the same ones who complain about public schools being a machine of the commie-socialist-atheist-muslim-fascist-hippie-liberal elite.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So are all of the local companies in those districts going to four day work weeks? A lot of parents are at work during school hours and have to take vacation days to cover school holidays that don't overlap with their work ones. I wonder how the parents are handling an extra day each week. Day care facilities must be booming!

  • by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @08:46AM (#37189946)

    I do wonder why more effort doesn't seem to be put into using Technology to help save money.

    Sure, take your 4 day week. Does that mean the kids can't be given a website to go to, with their on personal login, that has a bunch of weekly tests and exams for them to do, that they can spend friday doing? Have set times, make them sit the "exam" at the same time as everyone else, effectively making it a "school day" without the school. Even if it's something simple like watching an educational video and occasionally interrupting to ask both education questions and questions to make sure they're actually paying attention. It's not a perfect idea, it sure as hell wouldn't beat having direct access to a teacher 5 days a week, but surely it's better than just not being in school on the friday.

    It seems that technology in the classroom is constantly shunned, with people stating that computers distract kids more than they help, but maybe that's just because people haven't invested enough in them. Or maybe it's just a pipe dream.

    • by jank1887 (815982)

      (1) you now need to ensure all students have access to that on day 5. maybe you open computer labs. they need to be proctored. sounds like a school.

      (2) people have been throwing technology at schools since forever. they're still trying to figure out when it helps and when it doesn't. most of it is blind investment with little thought for training, long term costs and proper integration into the curriculum. and forget about identifying bang for the buck. all you find are anecdotal stories of one-off neat thi

  • I loved four-day weeks at college. For a trivially longer workday you get four days extra per month to have a life.

  • So what are parents who have a 5 day workweek going to do? Hire a babysitter on friday? This may work out for older kids, not the younger ones....
  • The affluent will be able to pay for private school. What these cuts do is to ensure that the poor get less education. Somehow, most of the affluent folks have become convinced that educating the poor is not worth it. It is hard to see how this will end well.
  • by assertation (1255714) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @09:12AM (#37190182)

    Thank the Republicans and the TEA Party. Taxes are the lowest they have been since the 50s on the upper classes, but these people have been fighting tooth and nail to cut budgets even further.

    While the rest of the world is increasing the school week, the US is decreasing it.

    Not only are these people working to make you poor and miserable while you are old, but trying to slash medicare and "taxing" your 401K with their debt ceiling/S&P/default stunt, they are working to make your children under-educated, to make sure they are poor all their lives.

    Please vote these people out in 2012.

    For your self interest.

    • the dems and teachers unions have been in control of education for decades and you want to blame the tea party? seriously? we've had more $$$ pumped into education with gradually worsening results.

      Maybe if schools would look at administrative overhead more money could make it down to teachers and students.

      A great example is Oklahoma, 77 counties, 544 school districts. consolidating the Districts (not schools as the unions scream would happen) and you would save MILLIONS in administrative costs.

      Another thing

      • Having a district based school system sucks. Have one we pay 2/3 of the school budget while putting 1/3 the students into the district. The other town has a HUGE retirement community they will vote down anything that up's there taxes. I get to make up the difference. Now my son attends a private school there administrative overhead is a principle and a secretary/bookkeeper (oh and a full time school nurse) for a school twice the size of what we have in town (it's k-8 vs k-4 5-8). There loaded cost per

  • $50,00 for an entire district, that is ridiculous and small potatoes does not even do it justice.
    That has to be like 25 cents per student (and no matter how small the district is it would still just be pocket change per student).
    And just think of the cost of some kind of child care for all of these kids during this one extra day off that they parents will not have, or alternatively the extra cost to the tax payers for all the extra damaged property that these unattended children will cause.

  • Because you can't keeping people fat, stupid and glued to Fox news without stripping of the educational system first.

  • It's just one less brick in the wall.
  • by Sinthet (2081954) on Wednesday August 24, 2011 @10:03AM (#37190720)

    I find I do better when we have 4 day weeks. This happens fairly frequently during the winter months, since skiing to school really isn't a viable option for many students. Our workload doesn't really get any smaller, since we just get our assignments from the internet, but it still results in more time that I can manage in a personally useful way, rather than have it managed for me by a computer program that brute forces a schedule with no conflicts. However, the amount of work we have is also huge relative to public schools.

    I could definitely see myself slacking off (rather than taking breaks) if I didn't constantly have something to work on.

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