Thursday, November 19, 2015

Twenty-two Oklahoma school districts considering four-day weeks

Twenty-two Oklahoma school districts are considering joining the 35 there are already employing four-day weeks.

Among the positives cited by those who have turned to the four-day schedule- savings on utilities and the ability to attract more teachers.

The accompanying video is from KOTV: - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |


Anonymous said...

Would be better for the students if they had 6 days a week. 4 days? Really? Why not just give them all game boys and let them go home?

Anonymous said...

A half day on Saturday is standard in Japan. They also encourage responsibility and save money by having the students do a lot of the cleaning once they're older, and otherwise run a number of things.

I would think in terms of youngster's issues with marshaling concentration that more days of fewer hours would be a lot better.

Anonymous said...

Just a side note - Japan has the highest rate of teen and preteen suicide in the world. Directly attributed to the stress put on by the kids from the super intense educational system. Did you know that Japan still sends their top educators to the U.S. to look at our education system as they view the U.S. public education as the best in the world.

Also - look at SAT and ACT scores in the US from the 60's, 70's and 80' and compare them to now - dropout rates as well. Virtually the same figures, basically unchanged - the point, public education in the U.S. has changed dramatically (following the "A Nation at Risk" report - which looked at other countries education models and erroneously compared the U.S. to them)from the Mid 20th century to now and it has not changed standardized test scores nor has it improved on the dropout rate.

Anonymous said...

Japan's suicide problems at that level have a lot more to do with the fundamental division of the society into two sectors, one high reward, low risk, and one low reward, high risk. In the former are government workers and the classic "salarymen" who work for one big name company for all their life. The government cares so little about the latter that they lost the pension records for 50 million of them (well, they cared a bit more when that started costing politicians their positions and pension officials and their families their lives).

The only thing that matters for the former is scoring high enough in college entrance exams. Get into Tokyo University and you have a chance of getting into the Finance Ministry, perhaps the most important part of the government (they write the budgets the LDP, at least in times past, then rubber stamped), or a number of top firms. Fail, and you'll most likely have a number of short term, low paying jobs, and per the above get extra screwed when you retire. Fail to graduate from a high school and most of those will be closed off to you, best check out the yakuza (organized crime syndicates that in another Japanese twist are tolerated if they aren't too violent).

Without this, and the many many other unique pressures on young Japanese that for example caused their birthrate to start falling in 1974, and I don't think we can compare minor things like an extra half day of school and giving students real responsibilities (I can't see how the latter would hurt, but perhaps I'm old fashioned).

The public schools, in fact, aren't even as much as you might think of being a part of this, anyone serious goes to private cram schools. And high school is not geographic, you have to, surprise, pass an entrance exam to get into the better ones, which puts a lot of pressure on middle school students. And the public schools have many problems; for example, while this detail doesn't matter for exams, they don't even pretend to teach real English to students.

I don't think we can easily look at SAT and ACT scores over time. The former has been watered down to the point it's less useful than the previously disrespected ACT, and the demographics of who takes them has wildly changed. Heck, one of the reasons that the SAT and ACT are taken a lot more is because a high school diploma is now all but worthless, graduation from a college has replaced it as a signal. Especially after Griggs v. Duke Power Co. ended the long run of success with job aptitude tests that started with WWII. As for graduation rates, we know from our own recent Joplin Schools experience that they are all but meaningless.

As far as how much public education has changed since "A Nation at Risk", all I can tell is that the low post-Why Johnny Can't Read (but could in Joplin back when that was published in the mid-50s) level of them is much worse. Locally, the only positive thing I can see is that "honors" classes have returned to Joplin in the form of Advanced Placement classes and tests, something that had been thrown away when I was in due to them being "discriminatory". Which caused me more than a little educational harm.