School is Out Early in South Carolina

May 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Opinion

School is Out Early in South Carolina

School is Out Early in South Carolina

I respect our teachers and the hard work they put in for our kids.  They are true heroes for the hell they go through to teach our kids.

With that said though, I do take issue with the practice of ending all educational teaching approximately 2 weeks before the end of the year.

Our worst in the nation education system apparently quits teaching as soon as students have taken their MAP, PASS (formerly PACT), or whatever other tests they may have to take.  Our students then sit in a classroom and play games, do crafts and watch movies for the final two weeks of school.  Not to mention the two half-days which amounts to a babysitting job for the teachers.

I have talked to some teachers in Spartanburg School District 2 that have already turned in textbooks and have submitted their final grades, all as of late last week.  Correct me if I am wrong, but when I was in school, textbooks were taken up and grades submitted on the next to last day.  The final day was used for goodbye, class parties and the distribution of report cards, when it was all done by hand.  If technology is supposed to make everything faster, then why are they closing down so early?

Schools are required by state law to have 180 instructional school days.  I guess it is up to the school district to determine what constitutes an instructional school day.  I would say that our students are only getting 167 instructional school days, if all of those days are used for instruction.

Let me be clear though, I am not pinning this on the teachers. They are doing what is asked of them.

I believe this falls into the hands of our school district administrators and they must be held accountable!

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  • Bobby Sessions

    There is no common cense when it comes to our public school systems just look
    at how the athletic competetion is set up. Instead of saving money and playing
    against Schools in your County most Schools drive all over the state. Do think
    that is a wise use of tax payer money. It costs millions of dollars each year
    to transport athletic teams around the state. Dont get me wrong I am all for
    athletics but we shouldnt be driving unless it is for the finals.

  • http://www.myspace.com/xdefiancex Phillip Cooper

    the reason why our education system is the worst is not because we let the kids have fun, its because the quality and value of education is not properly handled. i can remember in high school when it would get almost boring because we were reviewing topics that kids had trouble with rather than getting content finished. allowing more inviting methods of tutoring and leaving the decision up to the student rather than trying to hammer in knowledge to them will change this. and have you ever thought that standardized testing is just wayy too long? it shouldnt take 3 days to complete a test when you could reduce it to 1/3 of that and have it done. thats the honest reason why students are doing so poorly on pact / act / sat scores. its just way too much content. our institutions are also not offering proper preparation for these tests, so it is almost a given that we are expected to do poorly.

  • Justin

    Gary,
    I agree that there is a problem that teachers are teaching for a test and not to educate our students. But the fault of that lies not on administrators but on the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act that places the only means of judging school performance on test scores. If you would be deemed a good school or good teacher strictly on how your students perform on standardized tests, what would you do?
    The administrators do have fault in how our schools are performing though. Their fault lies in how they continue to suck up funding going to the schools, keeping it out of the classrooms. Teachers have to spend their own money on many teaching aides and classroom resources while administrators are the top paid officials in the county and spend money on golf courses.
    We need reform, but let’s look at where the real fault lies.
    Justin

  • Elizabeth Moultrie

    The problem with public education goes much farther back than former-President Bush’s “Nicklebee” (No Child Left Behind Act). It began when the government overtook the education of our children and was worsened with the development of a federal Department of Education. We can not change the past, though, and should start now to affect change for the present and future. Awareness of the requirements of the US Department of Education to lower standards so that no student can fail, even if he doesn’t show up for half the school year, is key in understanding how far school administration at the local and state level will go to see that “no child is left behind”. Maybe some children need to be left behind so they can learn what they’ve missed and begin to build a firm foundation for future learning. How many folks are aware that Richland District One, for example, no longer allows a teacher to assign a grade of less than 60? Why do we stand for this?? It’s clearly not beneficial to the child. How many employers will keep an employee who doesn’t show up for half of their scheduled work time? How may employers will hire a potential employee who cannot read, write legibly, nor cipher? As parents and as residents of this state, we should not settle for the mandates of the federal Department of Education or the shortcomings of the State Department of Education. Jim Rex is STILL telling us the same things he has always said since the beginning of his campaign. He hasn’t improved anything. He is clearly an inept leader for our education department. There is another way, a right way. More needs to be done by individual citizens to show the government (that is supposed to work for us) how things should be done. If I ran my home like Jim Rex and the legislature run our schools, my husband and children would kick me out!

    • Renee McDaniel

      Maybe parents should get their priorities straight by not filling the
      kids time with so many extra carricular activities that they do not have time enough to just play with other kids and get a full night’s rest.
      Say No to some of the extra stuff and concentrate on family time. There
      are some of us older parents that wish that they had done this very thing,
      but they couldn’t see the forrest for the trees back then. Parents, don’t
      make these same mistakes. Take the time to be with your family every night
      You will not regret it in the long run. These are my views and they have nothing to do with Bush,Obama,Clinton, or the Conservatists.Thank You

      • Renee McDaniel

        Furthermore, I live with a teacher. A teacher who is regarded at the school where he teaches as one of the most dedicated there. He does now
        and always has gone above and beyond to try to teach the SC Standards
        to the students in District Five.Now, on occasion, there are movies that
        come along that go along with a lesson being taught and some of the kids
        choose not to take advantage of that valuable learning experience.Some
        must even be given other work to do because they cannot behave during
        the movie.
        Here again,in my opinion,this is a topic for the school systems to
        work out, not a political entity.

  • Renee McDaniel

    Sorry, Don’t mean to be hogging the page. Every single child is not college
    material. At some point a decision should be made if a child should go to college or learn a skill. At that point head the child in the direction
    that they should be going.Billy Bob may be an excellent electronictechnician.
    Instead of a Doctoror or Lawyer.Sally may be a fantastic computer analyst instead of an English Teacher like her mother and grandmother.Thanks

  • Renee McDaniel

    DO ANY OF YOU HAVE CHILDREN IN SCHOOL? gRADES3-6?

    HAVE YOU SAT IN ON A CLASS TO SEE WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING ON?

  • Lori

    To address your original topic, how about moving the PASS test back 2 weeks. Several years ago when school started in early August, these testing dates were great and coincided appropriately with the end of school. When our legislators decided to move the school start date back 2 or 3 weeks – to help with tourism or something crazy like that – they didn’t bother addressing the things that really matter like moving the testing dates also. Teachers are breaking their necks trying to get all the standards covered before the tests. They could use those 2 extra weeks to teach all the material.