Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Year-Round School

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2009/04/09

Obama’s Secretary of Education wants a lot more school. The Denver Channel reports:

American school children need to be in school more — way more — if the nation is to compete with students abroad, the nation’s top educator said Tuesday.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said American schools should be open six days a week, at least 11 months a year, to improve student performance.

“Go ahead and boo me,” Duncan told about 400 middle and high school students at a public school in northeast Denver. “I fundamentally think that our school day is too short, our school week is too short and our school year is too short.”

Yes, we need longer school days, six-day school weeks and eleven-month school years, preferably twelve-month school years because our education system is unable to educate our children in the time allotted. Or is that the fix? Research would suggest that the problem is in the education system itself and not the length of time in school. According to a 2007 HSLDA report, every year comparative studies were done regarding ACT scores between homeschooled children and public educated children, the homeschooled children beat the public educated children.

Recently released statistics show the 2006 average ACT composite score for homeschooled students was 22.4, compared to the national average composite of 21.1!

Now homeschoolers have an unbroken record for the last 10 years—since 1996, when testing officials started tracking them—of scoring higher on the ACT than the national average.

For example, the 2005 average ACT composite score for homeschooled students was 22.5, compared to the national average of 20.9.

Private Christian schools are also outperforming public schools. According to Believers Web:

Christian schools offer a better level of instruction. There is no question about it. The test scores over a long period of years are conclusive. The annual Stanford Achievement Test administered to first through eighth grade Christian school students in the western states shows these students to be seven to nineteen months ahead of the national norm in reading, and seven to thirteen months ahead of the national norm in all subject areas.

So, obviously, the public system is broken. The research shows it. Savvy Café has an article that is a very good read. How are the various segments of government attacking the problem? They are regularly assaulting private schools and homeschool families in the courts and in the legislatures. In Ohio, Governor Ted Strickland (D) has been foursquare in the teachers’ union camp. According to the Columbus Dispatch,

Driven by horror stories about dealing with public schools, Republicans pushed to let parents send any student with an individualized-education program to a private school. The special-needs vouchers would have provided up to $20,000 each for about 8,000 students.

But Strickland, who unsuccessfully tried to eliminate most vouchers in Ohio, said, “Funding private schools with public tax dollars deprives the state and its taxpayers of proper oversight.”

House Speaker Jon A. Husted, R-Kettering, the legislature’s top champion of school choice, said the veto “made this a sad day for special-needs children in Ohio” and vowed to keep fighting.

The Buckeye Institute adds more clarity to the insanity in Strickland’s actions.

The Columbus Dispatch praised [Ohio’s charter schools and vouchers] contribution stating in a recent editorial, “The only thing that has prodded the conventional school system to do something about its mediocrity, inefficiency and inertia is the alarm generated when students and the money to educate them began to decamp for voucher and charter schools.”

The newspaper also took issue with Gov. Strickland’s lack of accountability argument writing, “Parents can pull their children out of these schools whenever they like for any reason. Until the advent of charters and vouchers, the majority of parents had no way of punishing a failing conventional public school so immediately and directly.”

The Dayton Daily News also joined the debate adding, “Ohio’s public schools are better today because of the competition charter schools and vouchers have created. The governor and public school advocates need to deal with that.”

These two newspapers, usually all too willing to carry water for Ohio’s new Democrat governor, sharply broke ranks with Gov. Strickland because they understand the negative impact his push will have on poor children. They care.

And President Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (Democrats all) tried to kill the DC voucher program. And so far, they seem to have succeeded.

So, the various governments are working, with strong support from the teachers’ unions, to kill voucher programs, and hamstring private schools and homeschools, claiming these programs need more government oversight to provide quality education – the over-performing schools need better oversight, just like the under-performing schools? Another reason for killing vouchers is the cost of the program and the loss of funds for public education. With the DC schools spending $14,000 per student and DC vouchers valued at $7,500, that means the DC public schools would receive $6,500 for each student that got a voucher to go elsewhere! And the valuation is similar throughout the US voucher programs. The vouchers are valued at roughly half the public education cost of each student and the public schools keep the remainder of the funds.

With the financial condition of the governments, what would happen if public schools indeed expanded as the Secretary of Education proposes? Extending the school day would require more money for each employee of each school, coming out of taxpayer pockets. Extending the school week would require OVERTIME money for each employee of each school every week, coming out of taxpayer pockets. Extending the school year by months would greatly increase the cost of each school employee, coming out of taxpayer pockets. This would be a hugely massive increase in the cost of education – in an education system that is absolutely failing our children. And when the government and teachers’ unions are trying to shut down the methods of education that are vastly superior.

Add to that text books that are filled with disinformation and propaganda (as seen on Fox News), teachers that are indoctrinating students contrary to parental wishes and without parental consent or control, a much greater weakening of parental oversight to correct the indoctrination attempts of the children, and forcing children to, in effect, work overtime year-round for thirteen years straight and the whole thing is alarming. This is a clear attempt to usurp the rights and responsibilities of parents and replace the parents with a nanny state. The education will not improve but the cost will explode and the parent will become unnecessary as Big Brother takes over.

4 Responses to “Year-Round School”

  1. Dana said

    Don’t you understand, Mr Hitchcock? Were we to go to such a system, we’d have to pay teachers much more (certainly a goal of the NEA, a huge supporter of Democrats) and we’d create a system that amounted to government-funded child care, year round, to benefit working mothers, another large Democratic support group.


  2. […] Posts Right Wing Extremist™ BlogsYear-Round SchoolDavey Crockett’s Words AgainAl Sharpton Steps In It […]


  3. John Hichcock said

    All it took was an extra ” at the end of each of my links to break them. They’re fixed now.


  4. […] that, homeschooled students and private Christian school students score better on average on standardized exams than do public school students. And the private Christian schools spend […]


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