Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The New School Day?

There have been some progressive high schools in the US that have tried to shift the school day with varying degrees of success. It's clear to anyone that has watched the zombie-like teenagers stumbling to the 6:45 am buses in NNY or rolling off a 2:40 bus that the current school day is not conducive to learning.

The initial data out of this school in the UK is encouraging as they've shifted their lesson plan hours to 10-3:40.

"Early results indicates that general absence has dropped by 8% and persistent absenteeism by 27%."

Our school day was built around an agrarian society when students needed to be home with plenty of daylight to help with the afternoon chores. That era ended about 40 years ago and we need to move on. The most consistent argument against this move is that it would cause chaos for after-school activities like sports. Sports are a nice add-on to the educational experience, they should not be a rational for hindering the performance of the entire student population, in my opinion.

I'd love to see one of the smaller local districts make a progressive move and try this for a year. I bet they'd see a spike in enrollment, higher real estate values and higher property tax roles. Any takers?


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