03

Calling for a Common Sense Calendar

Finally today, at long last, all the schools of Michigan may legally allow their students to return to their classrooms.

For months, almost every day, I have driven twice daily past a sign in front of a public school proclaiming, “Have a Safe Summer! See you September 3rd.” Almost every drive-by made my blood boil. What a waste of facilities. What a waste of brains!

For all of the bluster about new color-coded grading systems for schools and common core curriculum and countywide consolidation of districts’ support services, Michigan’s children continue to suffer from backward thinking on the most basic matter: the calendar.

As long as public schools are penalized if they start classes days or weeks earlier than today – when their private school competition begins – public schools will be unfairly handicapped in appealing to parents, and public school students will be at a distinct disadvantage in learning.

Michigan’s regressive law that penalizes public schools for demanding earlier or longer academic school days and years is worse than merely being contrary to common sense; it’s in opposition to the best interests of our children. Most of them are more than ready for school by mid to late August, and many of them really needed to be in school long before today.

Comments

dfry68@hotmail.com
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 10:51 PM
I totally agree. Allowing individual schools to decide what calendar works best for the students is appropriate and educationally sound. The legislature should quit micromanaging school systems.

Christian
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 10:11 AM
The Northern Michigan private schools do follow the public school start date. Schools in the South start too early (some start at the end of July!) I think if this wasn't regulated, most publics would have probably started on August 26 this year.

Ckasper
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 9:07 PM
Schools starting after Labor Day has extended our seasonal tourism business. It has helped tremendously!

Rob
Thursday, September 5, 2013 4:14 PM
It is about tourism, and extending the season so that Labor Day weekend is included. We are always so pushing our students. Longer days, more homework, you should volunteer, but no activity period at school to work on homework. The school system cuts into family time by increasing homework, and now we want to start school earlier to take more of the family time away? I have not even started about the demands of our young athletes, which is ten-fold from when I was in High School inthe early 80's. I love that ;See you on September 3rd sign', we need more of that.

Eric
Thursday, September 5, 2013 4:28 PM
I have yet to see any statistical evidence of any sort to prove that there has been a marked increase in tourism dollars since the enactment of this law. I agree wholeheartedly. This law is backwards, and goes against the theory of local control. It is absurd and hypocritical to say the least.

MidMI Parent
Thursday, September 19, 2013 12:51 PM
Common sense calendar - Our school district held a 4 day week the week before Labor Day.. Our Varsity football game was played on Thursday night.. we still do play it Thursday so our families have the weekend free. Does starting after Labor Day change my summer plans? NO. My children are high school athletes. Unless I'm camping at the lake near our home, my children are home because we are driving to school for practices and it has already been that way for most of August. It would help our gas bill, if they were already at school everyday (Our school district is rather large). We wouldn't be making the commute twice a day for am football and pm volleyball. But if we are going to discuss common sense, Varsity Football playoffs are well attended in most areas. It would be nice if schools hosting girls volleyball districts were required to play Monday-Wednesday with the District finals done no later than Thursday so both teams could support each other and girls playing Saturday aren't forced to choose between supporting their team or being well rested for a Saturday playoff match or missing the football playoff because both teams are playing on Saturday. Yes, life is full of choices but high school is also a time for young adults to still have the freedom to enjoy their high school experience.

Derek Kobb
Saturday, January 25, 2014 4:56 PM
I think starting school after labor day has helped many familes. many cities along the great lakes depend on the tourism to get by for the winter. plus kids need to be kids. the start after labor day has helped little league out a lot. kids are not under stress, plus teachers need the time to spend with family. plus many school building do not have air conditioning. so it is humid in those building. I said my point.

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