August 25, 2011 1:18:00 PM
I agree with Mr. Wiseman that our school system isn''t the best that it could be. For years I have advocated changing from our agrarian-based school year to something more modern and more practical. Mine is a lone voice in the wilderness, opposed by everybody else. Teachers don''t want to give up their "summer vacation" any more than most of the students. Parents are concerned about the children of divorced parents who shuttle back and forth during the summer or about family vacations. Folks, it''s past time to get concerned about what really matters: the education of our children and the future of our nation.
The advantages to a year-round school year are many: no break from learning so there''s no restart period; lessons can be broken down into three-month bites so it will be easier for students to grasp one section before moving up to the next; no daycare expenses for working parents; and on and on and on.
The Headstart school program is already being abused as a free daycare for lazy parents. Let''s make free public education work. Require all children from the age of three to attend school, either public or private. I realize some people prefer homeschooling their children, but from what I''ve seen, that doesn''t work out very well sometimes. This business of being six years old on or before Sept. 1 is a ridiculous arbitrary cut-off date. By going to a year-round school year a child could start within a couple of months of turning three.
One size does NOT fit all, especially in education. Some students are "smarter" than others and learn faster. By breaking up the school year into three-month segments, every student would get a chance to get a more equal education -- some just taking a little longer than others.
I guess one of the biggest advantages of a year-round school year would be no more gangs of bored youths roaming the streets getting into trouble. Everybody benefits from that advantage, especially the kids! But as long as the teachers'' union opposes any changes, we most likely won''t see any changes, and that''s the real sad part. This country must change, or else. The "or else" won''t be pretty.