Summer is nearly here and school's out! Except for hundreds of poor students in Chino, California, who got an unwelcome surprise news that they have to sit for 34 more days of school because of a clerical error. If they didn't, the school district would lose millions in funding.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the mindboggling bureaucracy and arcane rules that is the school system:
"We made an error on the minimum days of about five minutes," said Dickson Principal Sue Pederson. "Realistically, that's our accounting mistake as adults. We're unfortunately making the children pay for it by making them give up their summer."
Students at each school exceeded the state's requirement of at least 54,000 minutes of annual classroom time, but the problem arose in the district's minimum days. Schools typically have one shortened day per week, allowing teachers to use the remaining time for planning and parent conferences. Under state law, these days must be at least 180 minutes, and the daily average classroom time over 10 consecutive days must be 240 minutes.
An internal audit in early May discovered that 34 minimum days had been 175 minutes at Dickson and 170 at Rolling Ridge, said district spokeswoman Julie Gobin. That adds up to a shortage of 170 and 340 minutes, respectively, which could be made up in one or two school days. But under state law, these too-short days do not count at all, meaning that all 34 must be made up to avoid a state penalty of more than $7 million.
Seema Mehta of the Los Angeles Times has the report: Link
(Photo: Christine Cotter / LA Times)
I'm at a private school, and the work load can be pretty intensive. By the end of the year kids and teachers pretty much despise each other, so eager are they to get out. Not to mention summer reading. I mean, two books a month (give or take) may not seem like much, but it's more than many kids read (and the books aren't exactly easy readers)
That said, I think the main issue is that the public schools have to create a one-size-fits-all education for kids from every possible situation. Even I can see that the system could benifit from some good, old-fashioned common sense... But that's easier said than done.
To those of you saying "kids are likely to stay inside and play video games instead of going out and playing in nature, therefore they should be spending that time in a classroom": Shame on you! Because you don't like how they spend their free time, you would take that free time away?
//sent my kids to private school - worth every freaking penny.