J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

A Most unScientific Study – The End of School

An informal survey of ten teachers of Grades 2 – 6, revealed data which suggests education reform is not necessarily a matter of money, but of use of class time.

  • 6 of the 10 teachers said they had stopped recording new grades for their students by May 20
  • 8 of the 10 teachers said they had stopped teaching new material by Memorial Day
  • When given asked to identify the least academically productive month of the year, 10 of the 10 teachers chose “June”.
  • 4 of the 10 teachers included comments in their responses saying they felt the wasted month(s) were justifiable because “it’s too hot to get anything done,” “the kids are shot,” “we covered everything anyway,” or “it’s always that way.”

If an employee spent 10% of his workday browsing the internet instead of working, he would likley be fired. If a store manager shirked her responsibilities every other Friday and let the employees just hang out and play instead of working, she would be fired. Why is our elementary education system allowed to waste 10% of the school year.

Add to this the time spent remediating weaknesses at the start of the next school year and you have to wonder what might be if time were used more efficiently in schools.

We recognize that recognition assemblies, field trips, spelling bees, science fairs, etc., have some educatoinal value; however, it would be difficult for any objective person to look at the difference in productivity during October and June and not question what more could be done.

What were your experiences with what goes on in schools during the final weeks of the year? Please share your thoughts below.

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One Response to “A Most unScientific Study – The End of School”

  1. Cindy
    on Jun 13th, 2011
    @ 5:55 pm

    This is a very common practice in elementary schools. State testing is usually completed by mid-May. There is so much focus on the test and cramming everything in before the test, that teachers don’t teach much after that. Everything has usually been covered, and the kids are burned out. So are the teachers. Maybe they should move the testing dates closer to the end of the school year so that more time is used wisely, and children have more time to learn everything they are supposed to know before testing. Perhaps less of a focus on state testing? But that is another issue…

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