Time Is Money
I enjoy reading the Missouri State Teachers’ Association blog, which includes fun links to English and math websites, as well as commentary on education policy. But I don’t think this is exactly what they meant to say:
I agree it is virtually impossible to meet all standards and grade-level expectations in the limited seat time kids currently serve.
So now attending school is serving time? I know some kids view school as a prison, but I thought the teachers were generally more positive about it.
Semantics aside, the post argues for a longer school year and observes that increasing the time kids spend ("serve") in school would be expensive. This is a variation on the adequacy argument: we can’t meet the standards with the amount of money we currently have, so give us more money. The problem with this is that if money or time isn’t being used effectively right now, spending more time or money the same way won’t improve anything.
I have a better idea. Since many districts already operate summer schools, and several private schools host summer enrichment programs as well, we could give low-income kids vouchers to attend summer classes at any existing program they choose. Kids who want to attend would reap the benefits of additional time in school. And because the program would be in operation for only a few months out of the year, it would be a way to explore parental choice without making any major changes to the regular school year.