Quotes of the day

posted at 10:45 pm on September 28, 2009 by Allahpundit

“’Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,’ Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press…

Obama and Duncan say kids in the United States need more school because kids in other nations have more school.

‘Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here,’ Duncan told the AP. ‘I want to just level the playing field.’”

***
“If President Obama wishes to play school superintendent, here’s an issue that will make much more of a difference to the academic performance of America’s schoolchildren: heed the scientific research about teenagers’ sleep patterns and reverse the crazy trend towards an earlier and earlier start of the school day. The adolescent brain is not operating at 7:20 am, much less at the 6 am wakeup call for 7:20 arrival. It’s not enough for the kids to do their homework. They also have to remember to bring it back to school the following day!”

***
“Home schooling sneaked up on us, or at least on me — Leslie has been mulling it over far longer. About three years ago, she started to burn out on her low-paid, high-stress job as a political organizer for a lefty nonprofit that was working to end the war in Iraq. At the time, we were in the not-so-unusual New York position of spending her entire income, and then some, on paying a nanny to spend far more waking hours with our children than we did…

As for the ‘why’ question: We’re not ready to surrender our kids, and ourselves, to a 10-month-a-year, all-day institution whose primary goal, at least at this age, seems to be teaching kids how to function within a 10-month-a-year, all-day institution. Our kids are learning plenty — not exactly the same things other kindergarteners learn, I suppose, but plenty. They’re making friends and having fun. They can go to the beach on gorgeous fall afternoons, or hit zoos and museums on crisp winter mornings, when other kids are sitting at desks doing worksheets about the letter B. Hell, I wish I could do it…

The four of us are a pretty tight unit — it’s not us against the world, but us in the world, trying to experience the days as they come.”


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Comment pages: 1 2

anXdem on September 28, 2009 at 10:57 PM

Excellent point.

chemman on September 29, 2009 at 1:28 AM

If Obama wants to lecture everyone on school, he should release his own school records to prove he’s qualified.

ace tomato on September 28, 2009 at 10:51 PM

Ding ding ding!
We’ve got a winner!

Khun Joe on September 29, 2009 at 1:32 AM

As for the ‘why’ question: We’re not ready to surrender our kids, and ourselves, to a 10-month-a-year, all-day institution whose primary goal, at least at this age, seems to be teaching kids how to function within a 10-month-a-year, all-day institution.

Ouch.

Kralizec on September 29, 2009 at 1:34 AM

I’ve got no problem with the school year being extended or altered. There are many alternative schedules that will increase student retention. I completely agree with the “agrarian” comment in the article. We used to get out of school so people could tend to the fields. This is no longer the case.

However, if you plan on ADDING school days to the school calendar, you better be sure to increase teacher pay. Teaching is hard work (at least, for good teachers). It is time consumming and underappreciated. I know, my wife taught other peoples kids for ten years. Now we home school and LOVE IT.

cannonball on September 29, 2009 at 1:37 AM

If Obama wants to lecture everyone on school, he should release his own school records to prove he’s qualified.

ace tomato

Bam! +1

cannonball on September 29, 2009 at 1:38 AM

The man has no business in the PSDs. He has no business in homeschools, auto manufacturing plants, banks, voter registration, or any school nursery rhymes.

Limerick on September 29, 2009 at 1:43 AM

Then you have to ask the question…

… “What would they be taught?”

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 1:45 AM

“What would they be taught?”
Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 1:45 AM

How to play dodge ball, balance your checkbook, and marksmanship.

Limerick on September 29, 2009 at 1:46 AM

Doesn’t Barack-O realize that keeping kids in school longer is not a green option? More power will be needed for air conditioning, more gas for school buses, more animals killed for lunches.

is it 2012 yet?

cannonball on September 29, 2009 at 1:47 AM

more gas for school buses
cannonball on September 29, 2009 at 1:47 AM

Barry walked uphill, in the snow, both to and from school.

Limerick on September 29, 2009 at 1:48 AM

How to play dodge ball, balance your checkbook, and marksmanship.

Limerick on September 29, 2009 at 1:46 AM

Less time for Parents, Boy/Girl Scouts, Organized Sports, learning how to swim, basically time to be a kid…

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 1:55 AM

Then you have to ask the question…

… “What would they be taught?”
Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 1:45 A

Seven Percent Solution:They might be taught!

Concerned and Awareness Citizenship,reporting of bullying;
(an ordinary discussion of the truth and facts)by a student
on the righy!

When Lefty student loses argument,its off to the principal
for a kangeroo court for said righty student,which will en
courage Lefty students to silence the righty student!

That way,Lefty student has a real trade,that can be handy,
later in life at protest rallies!!:)

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 2:03 AM

How to play dodge ball, balance your checkbook, and marksmanship.

Limerick on September 29, 2009 at 1:46 AM

Limerick: Combining dodgeball with maksmanship will hone
the skills of both participants,and it would be
a hoot to watch!!hehe:)

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 2:06 AM

Nite Lim,SPS:)

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 2:11 AM

Maybe the extra time will be spent studying the Constitution of the United States of America, along with the Declaration of Independence…

… What it took for our Founding Fathers to create a unique form of Government not seen on this planet ever before.

Maybe American Exceptional ism will be taught, along with Individual Rights, Capitalism, Justice, and the Free Market System which has exploded invention and creativity which as benefited every corner of the world where it is allowed to prosper…

… Possibly even the failure of Marxist Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism and how they come to power using the media and the education system, yet always fail because they are based on a failed ideology.

Maybe, just maybe, they will teach right from wrong, good from evil, what character and personal responsibility means…

… Then there is Love of Country, respect for our elders, civic pride and responsibility, along with actual science compared to political propaganda, and the political hoax that Al Gore and the “Global Climate Change/Warming/Whatever” has done to pop culture and civil discourse.

I am sure Obama has this in mind for the children of this country….

…….. oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 2:11 AM

canopfor on September 29, 2009 at 2:11 AM

Good Night…

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 2:13 AM

This “agrarian” idea is false. Our school schedule actually comes from England, northern and central Europe where the summer is ideal for doing various things such as the wealthy (and therefore the educated) traveling, and it was too uncomfortable to be sitting in pre-air conditioned buildings for classes especially as those buildings were designed to retain heat for the long, dreary winters. In short, summer is just ideal weather to be out and about. In the cold of fall, early spring and winter you’d be inside most of the time anyway.

Our public education began with European and European trained scholars, so the European model simply trickled down.

There really isn’t anything special to do on a typical farm during the summer as most crops are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. The cycle of farm life would have concerned the pursuit of education amongst the well-to-do little anyway, and as I said, they are the ones who established our basic calendar for both colleges and for lower schools.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 29, 2009 at 2:17 AM

Umm best way to level the playing field is:

drum roll please:

SCHOOL VOUCHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And it would reduce the cost of an education considerably. The tuition I am paying for my niece’s first grade at a lutherin school is $2800 for the year (they pay the non-Lutherin rate). The current public school funding per pupil is 2 or 3 times that nearby.

And then just add $$ to the voucher for the special needs kids so they can get the extra attention they need.

Problem solved.

karenhasfreedom on September 29, 2009 at 2:58 AM

Education needs to be totally reformed before we can really become competitive with other nations. The problem with public schools is that far to many times they have evolved into baby sitting warehouses. Curriculum’s have been dumbed down and students are not motivated particularly in high school. Educational opportunities have never been greater in the United States. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can become educated in America. We have public schools, private schools, home schooling, bookstores, libraries, on the job training, trade schools, internships, and Internet schools with links to the entire world. You can become a real estate broker or pass the BAR exam without setting foot inside a class room. You can find out anything you wish to know. All it takes to be educated in America is one thing, you have to want to be educated! You know, there was once a time in America when most teenagers would give anything to be able to go to school, most didn’t get to. But today public high schools have remained stagnant while the vehicles to get an education have not. The information age has motivated young people, many know exactly what they want to do and find themselves wasting their most energetic years sitting around in the one size fits all educational.establishment waiting to get out of school so they can pursue their dreams, what a waste!

Young people need more options to enable them to have access to all the ways to become educated. One problem is America’s tendency to baby their young people. There was a time in America when parents would wake up one day to find their 14 year old gone, usually leaving a note saying simply that they are going out in the world, or in many cases, to join the war. Some of the greatest Americans in the past have started their lives out very young, 13yr old boys planning their trip to the new world, or off to mine gold. Today’s young people have the tools already in place to become more mature and independent quicker than they did years ago.

I recommend making high school (14-18yr olds) optional. Child labor laws need to be changed to give those who don’t want to be in high school different options. We need tax incentives to companies to develop internship programs and on-the-job training programs for young people who are motivated and interested in working in specific industries. Incentives are needed to open trade schools and charter schools. These steps could take the stress off of our public schools system to allow it to lower their class sizes to just students who actually wanted to be there, who could concentrate on becoming the doctors, lawyers, etc. of tomorrow. It is true, the days of the family farm are over but students don’t need longer school days of the same old thing.

Dollayo on September 29, 2009 at 3:04 AM

As for the ‘why’ question: We’re not ready to surrender our kids, and ourselves, to a 10-month-a-year, all-day institution whose primary goal, at least at this age, seems to be teaching kids how to function within a 10-month-a-year, all-day institution.

Ouch.

Kralizec on September 29, 2009 at 1:34 AM

As a basis of comparison, I was homeschooled. I got my GED, joined the Army (yes, Virginia, home schoolers can deal with structure; I have two other siblings in the military), and am happy to take the occasional college class.

My wife went to public and private schools, from there directly into college. She met and married me after she received her BA. Now she is finishing her MBA and wondering if she should pursue a second Master’s degree. She is basically afraid of what not being in school anymore will do to her as a person.

In short, I agree with the homeschooling parent’s assessment that school doesn’t teach you much beyond how to be in school. I continue to be infinitely grateful to my parents for homeschooling me, and teaching me that there is more to defining a young person than being a good student.

Spc Steve on September 29, 2009 at 3:17 AM

The school year is just fine as it is. But the education provided by schools is not just fine as it is.
Our educational system continues to produce kids who need remedial courses in college. This is plain wrong.

More time MUST be devoted to reading, writing, and arithmetic (the basics). For that matter, I would also consider the basics to be a basic knowledge of US history (not the liberal version), the sciences, geography, and world history. AND I would throw in some COMPULSORY art and music courses. These latter can be so rewarding and find some hidden talents to the joy of all while enriching the educational experience as a whole. The ability to sketch simply and effectively is a wonderful tool for anyone, for example.

This can all be done within the present calendar year quite nicely AND kids can have more time for playground or exercise activity during the course of the day IF the time spent on “diversity” is reduced. Of course tolerance is important, but should be taught in proper doses by teachers in a commonsense fashion as part of any class. As it is we have become and are becoming more diverse without the aid of the NEA, thank you.

I consider education to be the MOST IMPORTANT domestic issue of the day. As it is our kids are now often taught by teachers of teachers of teachers and so on of the liberal/illiberal school of thought. This MUST change.

How was Obama elected in the first place? By a well-educated, civic-minded, citizenry? Of course not.

He was elected by a not very well-educated, not very civic-minded, citizenry.

I know there are good schools and good teachers out there and these should be held up as models for the rest.

Teaching is a damn tough profession and teachers deserve better pay. Much better pay. But it is not that simple.

One of the reasons teachers struggle so is that the kids have not been taught how to “act right” at home. And who did not teach them to “act right” in the first place? Parents who were not taught to “act right” themselves by parents who are products of this same educational system. Well-mannered kids sure are easier to teach than ill-mannered ones. That is, discipline DOES start at home. But are the parents properly educated and were THEY disciplined at home? This is an interactive dynamic and there is no denying it.

If the time required for “classroom management” was reduced that would work wonders. And if less time needs be devoted to “classroom management” and “the problem child” then potential teachers could spend more time studying their subject area in college and less time on studying . . . . “classroom management”.

So this is one hell of a thorny issue we have to deal with.
An overhaul of the system is called for. The localities to do so first will be the first to reap the dividends.

How to overcome decades of a deteriorating educational system?

What we have now is a vicious cycle/circle.

And it will not be overcome by having kids take standardized tests for which they are not prepared
or extending the school year. These are quick-fixes that are not fixes at all.

So, how to overcome it?

That is a real challenge and one perhaps we should spend a great deal of time pondering.

Perhaps local schoolboards can begin instituting these changes in curriculum and present teachers will just have to conform or else. At the same time, teachers who do so will deserve much better pay.

And we should pay these well for I come full circle and say education is the most important domestic issue of the day. Our very future depends on it.

High schools graduates should have a diploma that really means something.

I owe a great debt to the many great teachers I have had as part of my public education. Teachers who love teaching and teach without an agenda but to educate their pupils to the best of their ability.

The ideal.

Sherman1864 on September 29, 2009 at 3:38 AM

All those supposed “agrarian” youngsters from times past sure as heck did have to get up and going with their A-game early in the morning, so our kids should be able to do it too.

It might help if they went to bed before midnight.

I’m all in favor of homeschooling, myself. There are a lot of online resources that I didn’t have when I did it eons ago, which makes it a lot easier these days. If I had small kids, I’d do it. And since I’m credentialed by CA to teach, who could naysay me?

Bob's Kid on September 29, 2009 at 3:39 AM

You know we tried this in our area. The result wasn’t pretty. Kids got even stupider. Economy gone to hell.

If you want to improve education get rid of the teacher unions first.

jdun on September 29, 2009 at 4:24 AM

There really isn’t anything special to do on a typical farm during the summer as most crops are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. The cycle of farm life would have concerned the pursuit of education amongst the well-to-do little anyway, and as I said, they are the ones who established our basic calendar for both colleges and for lower schools.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 29, 2009 at 2:17 AM

Your lack of Knowledge of agriculture is astounding.

darktood on September 29, 2009 at 4:30 AM

I don’t mind if kids go to school year round and have 1 week vacations 4 times a year, that’s fine.

In order to justify that however, they need to start teaching kids more than just how to be a good liberal muttonhead and expect that when they grow up big daddy government will hand out money like halloween candy and your parents aren’t allowed to be parents. Teachers can’t make more either, can’t afford it, so if that’s what they’re expecting they’re just SOL.

Zero needs to discover consequences someday….everything the big putrid gov’t does costs money, and he isn’t getting any more from us, don’t care how he whines and stamps his feet or passes a zillion more taxes. What he’s gonna get is a revolution and a lamp post.

Spiritk9 on September 29, 2009 at 4:55 AM

blockquote>Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here,’ Duncan told the AP. ‘I want to just level the playing field.’”

Sounds like he thinks our kids are getting away with something that kids in other countries are not, so that punishing field needs to be levels to insure a uniform amount of time outside the classroom.

“’Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,’ Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview

Spoken like a true liberal and clueless government level school administrator. He at least is aware that kids are no longer needed to get the harvest in.
Liberals are good at looking back, but confused with the present and have not much of a clue of the consequences of their actions on the future, or how their acting on an idea, effects everything related to it.
Our kids do not harvest the summer crops today, and just as true, they do not still attend classes at the “school house”. Today we have these windowless office type school buildings where the most senior teachers vie for a room with a window. Schools are not in session in the summer because of the high cost of air conditioning a school full of students during the summer. Summer is the time that maintenance, repairs and additions are made to schools. It is a time that the younger students are allowed to be children and the older students are working jobs that will provide money that they need and take those first steps into becoming adults with responsibilities. Summer is when the students that got behind or need remedial work, have an opportunity to take summer classes. School district often provide their teachers with short summer courses to help them be better teachers, learn new methods and technology and get training for new ways their district will be functioning. Summer is the only time that teachers have to go back to college to earn a higher degree and larger contracts, to expand their areas of certification, or increasingly so, earn the additional college credits required every five years to renew their certificates. I would say it is a good guess that Mr. Duncan was aware that summer is not a school free time for teachers, students, administrators and school districts.
I would further say it is a good guess that he has not been in a normal school of any kind since he graduated from high school. He would have lots of company since about eight in ten department of education employees and administrators at the state and national levels have not been back into a school since they graduated.
Ever wonder why the kids who learned phonics and grammar rules know how to write and spell and those who went to school during the years that it was rule free spelling and grammar, rote memory or word shape and have no ability later to write and spell later, and yet we swing in five year cycles between the two approaches. Why do we not stay with what works? Mr. Duncan and his kind are a good example of why that problem persists.
He apparently did not see the additional cost of year round school that would have to be paid with additional taxes or more likely cuts in spending and larger classes which have a devastating impact on the quality of education, which appears to be what he thought his idea would achieve an increase in. It’s that liberal thinking again.

Another point of liberal thinking that needs to be mentioned; the almighty carbon foot print Mr. Duncan is ignoring, how big that carbon foot print would be with all the schools straining to keep the air conditioning working , all the lights on, computers running and the buses that normally sat in lots, still belching exhaust carbon polluting gases instead.

Franklyn on September 29, 2009 at 5:15 AM

So when is He going to suggest a ‘common uniform’…..

GarandFan on September 28, 2009 at 11:20 PM

Right before they distribute the little red books of his quotes.

ncborn on September 29, 2009 at 5:43 AM

ZhivBlago is right. Most of the work on a farm is done in Spring or Fall. Pretty boring in the summer watching the stuff grow.

We home school our kids and love the flexibility. We teach through the summer and take a month off in the Spring and one in the Fall when things are not so hot. The kids do not enjoy playing in the Dallas Summer heat, so they study. We just have to watch out for the authorities in case they ask questions about why our kids are not in school.

jsulman on September 29, 2009 at 6:15 AM

My wife, who is a senior administrator in a Northern Virginia system, and I talked about all the things Barry the Dingbat doesn’t consider. All about various cost increases.
First, teacher pay would have to go up. Its poor enough now but a drastic increase is in order.
Second, the school building’s physical plant would never shut down. Electric bills would skyrocket. More money.
School buses and their drivers would be on the road constantly. Many ‘classified’ positions, janitors, bus drivers, school securtiy etc. depend on summer jobs to supplement their embarrasingly low pay. That would go away so their pay must increase.
Parents vacation schedules are tied, usually, to school schedules. Bye bye to that.
Much like the Porkulus, cap and tax, healthcare, blah blah blah, this is just another kneejerk, jump into the deep end which hasn’t BEGUN to be thought out. Funding for schools would bankrupt the states, which is obviously the goal. Then the federal gov’t could step in and say, “we’ll provide more funds if you follow our instructional (read ‘indoctrination’) guidelines.

Bad idea on far too many fronts.

redneckjoe on September 29, 2009 at 6:28 AM

Well my kids officially hate him now.

rollthedice on September 29, 2009 at 6:44 AM

Hah, my wife lived in an agrarian society, Mindanao, she had to get up pretty early to feed the goats , pigs, chickens and fetch 2 buckets of water from the village well (seriously)all BEFORE going to school.

She walked to school, walked home for lunch, walked back to school and walked home. She was taught in a private Catholic school, me too, only in Boston. I went on to a Catholic College. We’ve been married for 18 years, we send both of our kids to private Catholic school at a great financial burden for us (over $12,ooo per year) because we disagree with the public school liberal indoctination.

Bonus, when our youngest one is sad or scrapes a knee the teachers hug him, kiss him and call him angel, and in the rare instance when our oldest is a knuckle head they actually “punish” him **Shocking concept**

Alden Pyle on September 29, 2009 at 6:54 AM

Oh yeah, in one fell swoop, he doesn’t look so “cool” to my kids anymore, way to split off your most adoring base, champ ;-)

Alden Pyle on September 29, 2009 at 6:58 AM

If Americans would accept the responsibility for their own lives instead of looking to big brother for the answers, 90% of our government failures would cease to exist.

csdeven on September 29, 2009 at 7:02 AM

Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today…

This is an absolutely true statement and I agree with it. However, there is also another aspect to our schools that is a holdover from those rural days: That it is a public institution. Back then, it simply was not profitable for a company to educate children. In today’s urban environment, that is not the case and government does not need to be in the education business. That is why I am all for school vouchers.

Kafir on September 29, 2009 at 7:03 AM

People have been talking about extending the school year for years and years now.

Why is this Quote of the Day?

I heard that the Russians said the Iranians were doing nothing illegal…I would think that would be a better quote..but what the hell.

Terrye on September 29, 2009 at 7:17 AM

The problem is not the length of the year. It is the content of the curriculum. You could make the school year 365 days, but if the curriculum is still 2+2=whatever you feel like it should equal, followed by “all white men are evil”, followed by “gays are cool” it won’t matter.

angryed on September 29, 2009 at 7:20 AM

This is the same flawed logic that says if you only throw more money at education, test scores will improve. How’s that working out DC, home of the highest per capita spending on education and also home of the lowest test scores of any school district?

angryed on September 29, 2009 at 7:21 AM

Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here,’

So what??! I am tired of people pointing to other failing countries and saying “Look,, they do X Y and Z in Commie/Socialist Land! Why aren’t we doing that here?!”
That is not an argument for anything! It is not the length of the school day,, it is what is being taught!! We became a world super power through one room school houses!!
Libs hate summer vacation! It is a time for reconnecting with the family and a time when kids forget about the indoctrination!! That is the goal!

JellyToast on September 29, 2009 at 7:22 AM

You know we tried this in our area. The result wasn’t pretty. Kids got even stupider. Economy gone to hell.

If you want to improve education get rid of the teacher unions first.

jdun on September 29, 2009 at 4:24 AM

stupider?

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 7:29 AM

The problem is not the length of the year. It is the content of the curriculum. You could make the school year 365 days, but if the curriculum is still 2+2=whatever you feel like it should equal, followed by “all white men are evil”, followed by “gays are cool” it won’t matter.

angryed on September 29, 2009 at 7:20 AM

Exactly

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 7:31 AM

Exactly

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 7:31 AM

ditto

cmsinaz on September 29, 2009 at 7:33 AM

Maybe if Obama released his own school records…

… we wouldn’t be so cynical.

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 1:26 AM

Cynicism replaced without outright horror that such an unfit rat bastard traitor is sitting in the White House.

highhopes on September 29, 2009 at 7:42 AM

How’s that working out DC, home of the highest per capita spending on education and also home of the lowest test scores of any school district?

angryed on September 29, 2009 at 7:21 AM

Two words. School vouchers.

Let the child go to the “schoo” that best fits his/her abilities and interests. Let’s get rid of the unrealistic and inhumane death grip the NEA has on the education process. Labor unions have their role but it has nothing to do with dictating where children can go to “schoo.”

highhopes on September 29, 2009 at 7:50 AM

Hey kids, this is the city that the filthy liar in the White House is pushing for the Olympics. International affairs aside, looks to me like the animals are not ready for the media glare of the Olympiad.

CHICAGO — Cell phone footage showing a group of teens viciously kicking and striking a 16-year-old honors student with splintered railroad ties has ramped up pressure on Chicago officials to address chronic violence that has led to dozens of deaths of city teens each year.

The graphic video of the afternoon melee emerged on local news stations over the weekend, showing the fatal beating of Derrion Albert, a sophomore honor roll student at Christian Fenger Academy High School. His death was the latest addition to a rising toll: More than 30 students were killed last school year, and the city could exceed that number this year.

Prosecutors charged four teenagers Monday with fatally beating Albert, who was walking to a bus stop when he got caught up in the mob street fighting, authorities said.

highhopes on September 29, 2009 at 7:53 AM

Let the child go to the “schoo” that best fits his/her abilities and interests. Let’s get rid of the unrealistic and inhumane death grip the NEA has on the education process. Labor unions have their role but it has nothing to do with dictating where children can go to “schoo.”

highhopes on September 29, 2009 at 7:50 AM

LOL…Schoo…excellent memory..I forgot about that

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 7:56 AM

Rational people understand that quality will outperform quanity in nearly all situations.

Liberals are convinced that quanity will overwhelm any situation, and solve all problems. Hence higher taxes, increased spending, additional laws, longer school sessions.

Can we then determine that liberals are less rational. Well, YES WE CAN.

Yoop on September 29, 2009 at 7:58 AM

Cynicism replaced without outright horror that such an unfit rat bastard traitor is sitting in the White House.

highhopes on September 29, 2009 at 7:42 AM

I compliment you high, I couldn’t contain my despising of Obama as well as you can.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 8:00 AM

Schools don’t need more days or hours added to their schedule.Perhaps they could go back to teaching the 3 Rs instead of writing and performing ditties of praise for Dear Leader.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 8:08 AM

Translation: We need more time to brainwash your rug rats.

RandyChandler on September 29, 2009 at 8:08 AM

Barry walked uphill, in the snow, both to and from school.

Limerick on September 29, 2009 at 1:48 AM

…..with a turban on his head and a dog-eared copy of the Koran under his arm.

Ris4victory on September 29, 2009 at 8:21 AM

I question the alleged 25-30% more school time in other countries claim. I have relatives in Germany whose kids do go year round, with 2-3 week breaks, along with numerous national holidays. However, their school days aren’t as long….and many schools let the kids out at noon on Fridays the entire year; with the graduating class finishing by April of their senior year (school year starts in mid September with a long Christmas and Easter break). My guess is if you add up the actual time in the classroom, it would be pretty similar.

atlgal on September 29, 2009 at 8:27 AM

Barry walked uphill, in the snow, both to and from school.

Limerick on September 29, 2009 at 1:48 AM

…..with a turban on his head and a dog-eared copy of the Koran under his arm.

Ris4victory on September 29, 2009 at 8:21 AM

… and an Indonesian school voucher in his pocket.

Yoop on September 29, 2009 at 8:31 AM

’Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,’

Yeah, well its been 60+ years since WW2 and we are still following that ridiculous Daylight savings time too…

DavidM on September 29, 2009 at 8:32 AM

I sure hope the federal government is willing to fund all this. There are plenty of small schools whose budgets are small..and this could bankrupt them. The money budget for the school buses gas will be quite costly.

I have no problem with extending the school yr, and I do like the idea of having kids go to school later in the morning, but I dont think Obama realizes the cost involved in doing this. He needs to just stay out of the local school districts. He ruins all he touches.

becki51758 on September 29, 2009 at 8:33 AM

It sounds like our President feels a need to micromanage every aspect of our lives.

zoyclem on September 29, 2009 at 8:49 AM

I can’t fine anything about a Principle in Chief in Article 2. Can someone help me here?

Akzed on September 29, 2009 at 8:59 AM

I sure hope the federal government is willing to fund all this.

Yes as soon as Barry passes a tax fine to pay for it!

salmonczar on September 29, 2009 at 9:02 AM

As a teacher, I just want to point out — a majority of us WANT to focus on the 3 Rs, not to mention science, social studies, PE… but so much of the teaching day is taken up teaching scripted Language Arts programs, not to mention specialized programs for English Learners, and we can’t even spend extra time on a specific concept the kids are having trouble with because our pacing guide says we have to be on Chapter 7, Lesson 5 on 9/29 or suffer the consequences. This is where the current theory of education has gotten us.

salmonczar on September 29, 2009 at 9:05 AM

OF COURSE the NEA wants our kids longer. If we are dumb enough to hand them over to the state for 8 hours a day, 50 weeks a year, we are going to deserve what we get – a new generation of brainwashed, government-loving slaves.

rockmom on September 29, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Every state governor should write Ogabe a sternly worded letter telling him to butt out of their domain. Of course, they do love those federal funds…

SKYFOX on September 29, 2009 at 9:08 AM

The point of longer school hours/days is moot if its intent is not application of the 3R’s, history, science and civics.
If the intent be nothing more than further indoctrination and social engineering it will result in automatons vs free thinkers.

When “history class” became “social studies” the die was cast as what the were trying to accomplish. It shows in kids that grew up with inadequate skills to succeed yet an inflated self esteem to breeds a disconnect between their actions and their rewards. They come out of college without even basic knowledge of the world yet in the firm beleif that they should receive 6 figure salaries.

As we have all seen recently tots chanting odes to Obama, this 40yr trend in academics is striving for Orwellian dimensions. I have vainly tried to convince my lil’ bro to send my nephew to private school, but he is blind to it as he is a product of same. We represent the dividing line in K-12 academics, I had “history”, he had “social studies”. Having the latter he is left woefully unaware of Disraeli’s maxim..


“Wherever is found what is called a paternal
government, there is found state education.
It has been discovered that the best way to insure
implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.”

Archimedes on September 29, 2009 at 9:52 AM

We should simply go back to teaching the courses necessary in the early grades, reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, geography and history. Say the pledge to the flage everyday and not a pledge to any “President”. Abolish the Department of Education and make it all State and local. As always the government tries to solve problems by throwing tax dollars at it. Money is not the problem, the control that government now has over the schools “is”. To end, government “leave our children alone”, we don’t want them raised by the State.

hillbilly on September 29, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Why is everybody saying teacher pay is low? Have they seen what teachers make? Have you seen their benefits? My now wife , went to school for 4 years, 1st year teacher made 44000 a year in the lowest paid district in my state… (Louisiana) She was able to pay for 100% of her higher education/car/food and still have 20k for a down payment on our first house.

Teachers make like 50 to 70 bucks an hour – bear with me on this – include all the benefits, and assume the teacher is a mediocre teacher (which honestly, most were in my school) that do not put in alot of out of school time and use the same lesson plan from 10 years before and just read word for word.. Then you count retirement crap, or only working 250 out of the 365 days a year. All that adds up, also getting a month of “free” time off if you so choose it.

Regardless, teachers make more per hour than Nurses and last time i checked, Nursing school is a lot harder than education.

Donut on September 29, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Another show me issue. Show me where in the Constitution is says the Federal Government is required to educate the population? No place.

Look at the evolution (oops another touchy subject) of education. During the agrarian era, education was mom and dads job. Then manufacturing, took Dad out of the equation, leaving Mom to do all the teaching. Then Dad got a promotion to management and had to have the little lady by his side to move up the ladder. Where do put the kids? In an institution developed by the governing body.

A full generation later change is in the air. Mom is staying at home to teach the kids because of the crazy talk they hear their off spring talking about. Regression into ‘Home Schooling’ is returning to the roots that made our country great.

Instilling values that serve a person better than blindly following a curriculum that is one sided and punishes free thinking. A Mon can teach the basics of English, encourage reading a wider variety of text, and dad can teach the information necessary to function in a working world such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.

All which allows them to understand the needs of their community better and how to program a computer, or create a business model that adds value to the community and is profitable; multiplying (adding fast) dollars and subtracting expenses, then dividing (subtracting fast) the profit among the employees who agree to build something they all benefit from.

Is a typical High School Graduate a well rounded person that can think for themselves and ready to be a citizen? I think I can show statistics that will show you will if you are lucky to get your hands on one of top 2% of the class. But, if you test a person that has been ‘Home Schooled’ the statistics jump to 50% chance of getting a student that understands their place in the community, country, and world.

MSGTAS on September 29, 2009 at 10:27 AM

The sarcastic part of my brain is thinking “yippee, more 40 year old educational fad crap” being floated from the White House.

Sadly, we were stupid enough to purchase a home in a school district where “year round education” has been in place for almost 15 years and for grins we added another hour to the school day this year. So what are those fabulous results;

Nada… Zip….Zilch

The test scores in our district are no different (and in some areas are lower) than the other two districts in our city who are on a traditional calendar. Our college bound rate is similar to that of other districts our size.

Student, parent and teacher burnout happens earlier and earlier every year. We have more absences for mild illness much earlier in the year.

For athletes and other extra curriculars there is no down time. Those students continue to attend school/practices during the scheduled breaks.

It’s a financial nightmare, especially the additional costs of cooling and maintaining buildings during the hottest months. Larger maintenance projects end up being deferred for several years since it cannot be performed while the building is occupied. We have significantly higher costs for hourly employees.

Significant loss of enrichment opportunities for students during summer. Because of the schedule, students miss out on summer camps, unique programs, non school sports and general travel that conflict with school dates. No students in our District can audition for Interlochen or good old Band Camp, much less participate in Drum Corps.

Significant loss of family time. We have missed family camping trips with our in-laws for the last 12 years due to the school calendar. Traveling to visit my family for more than a day or two has been impossible.

The extended calendar does not match up with University Calendars. Dual credit courses are available, but end up being distorted due to the mismatched schedules. Teachers take much longer to complete advanced level coursework or must do so online.

And about that extra hour a day…. When the District added the extra hour to the school day, there was no give back elsewhere in the schedule. Band members and athletes now arrive at 6am for morning practice, and frequently stay until 6 or 7pm for sectionals or games. Then there’s several hours of homework. My son made (and sold a t-shirt that reads “My bedtime is when XXX’s homework is done”), and that’s if he goes to bed.

So far we have a higher rate of High School students not passing at least one class during the first quarter this year than last year and a higher rate of students failing more than one class than in any previous year. The teachers report that the kids are “wiped out” and not focused.

So…. coming from someone who has “lived it”…. it’s just a really stupid 40 year old theory that doesn’t work. And did I forget to mention that my family is still Agrarian! But what the heck, the 2% of us just feed the other 98% of the the US.

2nd Ammendment Mother on September 29, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Unfortunately for Obama and Duncan, education is a State’s Right issue and the federal government has no business getting involved. I wish that someone would challenge the federal government in the courts on this issue.

On a side note; isn’t it terrible that all of us public school graduates were so disadvantage to our worldwide peers that had such an advantage over us.

BioTeachEd on September 29, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Another intersting thought: Does the President believe that his daughter’s private school should go to a year round schedule? Are his daughter’s attending a school that doesn’t allow them to be on a level playing field with their worldwide peers?

BioTeachEd on September 29, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Just to put a historical spin on this: public schools were started to deal with the unintended consequences of child labor laws. Think Oliver Twist . . . gangs of kids running around the streets with nothing to keep them occupied, so public schools are created to get them off the streets. Before child labor laws were created, the only schools available were private schools where people who had the money could send their kids.

BioTeachEd on September 29, 2009 at 12:38 PM

I suppose Ozero just wants to give his good friend, Safe Schools Czar (or Czarina) Kevin Jennings more opportunity to encourage statutory rape between older gentlemen and 15 year old male students.

bullseye on September 29, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Quit teaching feel good, multi-cultural blather, Why Waddles the Penguin Has Two Daddies or whatever, and politiced revisionist history, and start teaching the basics and actual American and world history, then we’ll talk about it.

hillbillyjim on September 29, 2009 at 1:00 PM

I find it absolutely fascinating that we, as a country, have been able to accomplish so much in our history by attending school a mere 9 months out of the year. I guess it just goes to show that length of the school year has very little to do with learning our lessons.
The real lesson is this….quit with all the PC crap, and flunk children that don’t learn, and make losers out of the ones that don’t try hard enough to actually win at something. As a general rule, people get tired of losing, and try harder to succeed, not the other way around, where everyone is a winner no matter how poorly they play the game, or how low they score in school.

Sasnak on September 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM

P.S.

mmmm, mmmm, mmmm

hillbillyjim on September 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM

The first quote cuts off before a very important point was made (by the writer of the article). One that totally contradicts the need for longer school hours-

While it is true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it’s not true they all spend more time in school.

Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days).

Katec on September 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM

As a retired teacher of 30 years (and yes, a conservative), allow me to make a few points in regard to an extended school day or year:
1. There is no direct correlation between more seat time for students and greater student achievement.
2. The countries who rank above the U.S on PISA often hold classes less hours a day than we do.
3. The U.S. educates ALL students (or attempts to) “equally” regardless of ability or disability – not done in other countries.
4. All students are on an “academic” track in U.S., while other countries offer “vocational” options, and only the top students move forward to college-bound levels.
5. Where’s the money? Salaries, utility bills, nutrition, security, transportation, curriculum development, aftercare, etc…will require a HUGE increase in funding, and most school funding is provided at the local level, then the state – last of all, and a small percentage, is provided by the federal government.

Simply extending “seat time” for students WILL NOT achieve the outcome of increasing educational goals for our students. What it will do, however, is provide more governmental intrusion into our families. That, after all, appears to be the actual goal anyway.

Cindy of TX on September 29, 2009 at 4:12 PM

Why is everybody saying teacher pay is low? Have they seen what teachers make? Have you seen their benefits?

Yes… every time I get a paycheck.

And it’s not pretty.

salmonczar on September 29, 2009 at 5:14 PM

All students are on an “academic” track in U.S., while other countries offer “vocational” options, and only the top students move forward to college-bound levels.

Mike Rowe was on F&F this morning and alluded to this. And it’s true… we make kids feel like the only careers out there worth having automatically require a college degree. And higher education isn’t for everyone, whether because of cost or interest or temperament, but a good portion of society deems these ‘dirty jobs’ as unworthy.

salmonczar on September 29, 2009 at 5:18 PM

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