Five states announced on Dec 3 that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013. In total, education officials expect to provide nearly 6 million more student learning hours next year. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level.
This equates to 37.5 more school days a year. And what are we going to use those hours for? cross-gender identity crises training? How to sing praises to our Glorious leader? We know it won’t be writing in Cursive. Teaching grammar and spelling is also out because computers automatically correct those problems. We also know that basic math is not being taught as it used to be, after all everyone has a calculator or computer to give the answer. No need to teach kids how to count money; the cash register will give the correct amount of change and we know automatic tellers will never make a mistake. Teaching time is a waste of time, we all use digital clocks today anyway.
The Teachers unions oppose this as it may require more work on their member’s parts and might cause teachers to lose their long summer vacations; after all we know the union does not care about kids.
So just what do they want to teach? Why do they really want to extend the school year? What is the real purpose behind this? I do not know. This has me confused but I would prefer that they teach english, spelling, grammar, math, geography, history, government, and add physical education back in, to cut the number of fat children in our schools.
Illiteracy is a national problem one the schools ignore. What is literacy? It is the skill of being literate.
Definition of LITERATE:
1a: educated, cultured
b: able to read and write
2a: versed in literature or creative writing: literary
The ability to read and write; a skill that our schools are deliberately removing from the curriculum. Cursive writing and the ability to read it is a part of being literate; spelling and grammar are important to literature and creative writing. Homophones, Synonyms and Homonyms are becoming a lost part in our instant Text culture. For example a homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or two, to, too and now 2. Spell checking will say all the words are correct but how do you know which one is correct in a sentence without the rules of grammar and spelling? Reading is a function of literacy including the understanding of creative writing, much great literature is full of the flavor of language, a flavor that is lost when we only look at the words on paper and do not try to understand the deeper meaning and context of a statement. We often hear a politician say that their comments were taken out of context, but the real problem is they were taken in context and it is an embarrassment to them; yet without people able to read and understand, the politicians get away with it.
So now let us return to my original question; What do they want to use 300 instructional hours to teach?
Just my thoughts for today.