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Terry Jeffrey: Shorten the School Year

Lots of folks want to make school just a form of public day care. Not Terry Jeffrey:

Vincent Gray, who is the mayor of Washington, D.C., which has some of the worst public schools in America, has an idea he believes will improve them: Keep children there longer. "It is time for us to get rid of what I think is an agrarian concept," Gray told a Washington radio station this spring, "and that is the days, in the 19th century, when it was thought that children had to get home early to help out with the chores, when they had to get out of school in June and go back at the end of the summer to help out with the farming.
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Andrew said...

From what I know (and I may be wrong), the summer vacation was not an agrarian invention. How much farming is done in the middle of summer? It's a spring and fall activity. Instead, it comes from the sweltering summer heat of the cities in a time before air conditioning.

gemoftheocean said...

True Andrew -- you plant in spring and often harvest in late summer and early fall - just when these duffuses are sending the kids back to school. I feel sorry for kids who don't get much summer vacation now. This in and out every few weeks. One of the joys of childhood was anticipating a long summer vacation. Days of 'building forts' playing on a ball team (odd how you had a hard time getting your butt out of bed for school, but NO problem being down at the ball field at 7a.m. so you could practice early out of the worst heat of the day. You had plenty of time for self-directed fooling around too -- without helicopter moms and dads trying to make sure every day was 'quality time.' Lots of time for visiting friends, going to the community pool, riding bikes, learning something you were interested in -or just plain goofing off. Kids are hot housed enough and will be on a life-long tread mill soon enough.

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