Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Four Day School Week/Could Our Kids Be Any More Ignorant?

The Wall Street Journal reports that some school districts are considering a four day school week.

From the article—

“In North Branch, Minn., school Superintendent Deb Henton said her 3,500-student district, facing a $1.3 million deficit, is simply out of options..”We’ve repeatedly asked our residents to pay higher taxes, cut some of our staff, and we may even close one of our schools,” she said. “What else can you really do?” Despite a “lot of opposition” from parents, she said, the district is set to adopt a four-day week for next school year…A new law in Georgia allows schools a choice between a 180-day school year “or the equivalent.” Hawaii officials last October introduced 17 mandatory “Furlough Fridays” for state public schools. In Minnesota and Iowa, districts are drafting proposals for their state boards of education in hopes of implementing four-day schedules next school year….”

Here is the link to the North Branch, Minnesota school district referenced in the story.

From the web home of the district, here are proposed cuts in North Branch beyond the four-day week planned for next school year—

“Director of Finance and Personnel Randi Johnson presented the 2010-11 budget recommendation to the school board. It calls for $1.34 million in reductions, the majority of which are non-instructional. In brief, roughly $850,000 of the cuts are non-instructional, while roughly $222,000 are use of one-time funds. There are cuts to administrative, support, custodial, transportation, and classroom teacher staff. However, though teaching staff comprises roughly 50% of the overall budget, they account for 19% of the reductions, and most of those reductions (roughly 4 of the 6 full-time equivalent positions) were accomplished through attrition – retirements, leaves of absence, etc.”

Can you imagine our children being any more ignorant than they are? The length of the school year needs to be expanded.

Can you imagine that parents, taxpayers, teachers, business leaders, and elected officials in these school districts can’t work out a solution?

All I can say if that these kids were really needed to fill high-tech jobs and if the future really had value, a solution would be found.

You can bet that a way will be found for wealthy kids to get the education they need to get good jobs.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 6 Comments

If We Are Having An Information Revolution, Why Are So Many People Still So Ignorant?

I’ve been wondering today that if we are having an information revolution, why are so many people still so ignorant?

I’m sure that in many parts of the world computers and the web have made a great deal of difference in terms of access to information.  

In the United States though, it is not clear that people are any more knowledgeable than they were in the time of just three major television networks and no cable, print-only newspapers, and bookstores and libraries as the only places to get books and do research.

Here is a 2007 Pew study where only 69% of the people knew the name of the Vice President.  

Information revolution?

Maybe instead it’s a revolution in fragmenting people’s attention to the point of constant distraction, and a revolution in making people unemployed with technology. 

I can’t say that I’ve yet to see people with any better grasp of information than they had in the past as a result of the so-called information revolution.

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment