Challenging Conventional Wisdom
Conventional Wisdom – More time in school = more learning achievement
A Different Perspective – Malcom Gladwell’s work (Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers) Leavitt’s book (Freakonomics)
According to the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, in four of the seven countries that outperform the United States in mathematics, students spend less time in class per week than U.S. students do and also less than the international average.
McREL’s meta-analysis identifies Teacher Quality (not the length of a school year or week) as the key variable in student achievement. Research supports the assertion that it is not the quantity but the quality of education time that is the critical determinant of how much students learn. Rigor, Relevance and Relationships (not time) are keys.
Time on Task is an essential variable that is controlled largely by the teacher but is also affected by systemic issues.
Four day provides excellent opportunities to protect instructional time.
Practices that effect teacher quality can be scheduled regularly on the off day (professional development, professional learning communities)
Promising practices for secondary education can be more easily managed and scheduled on the off days (ie. Senior projects, Internships, Job Shadows, Service Learning projects)
Other potential opportunities for the changed use of time (Teacher home visits, enrichment and remediation programs on the off day)
Alternative uses of time to increase student engagement
KSDE Goal: Redesign the delivery system to meet our students’ changing needs
“A fish is the last to discover water.” We’ve been swimming in the 5 day school week pond for the past century and a half. There’s probably another way we will not see until we try something different.
A patron put it better than I could ever imagine at one of our public meetings. She said, “ultimately the decision makers need to remember that they are a Board of Education, not a Board of Humanity.”
Best Web resource: http://educationnorthwest.org/news/832