Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This Has Got To Suck

What would happen if the kids just didn't show up?

Students at Dickson Elementary in Chino and Rolling Ridge Elementary in Chino Hills were supposed to be done with school on Thursday, but a clerical error means they will have to make up 34 days or the schools will risk losing $7 million in state funds.

Under California law, schools' occasional short days — taken to allow teachers time for preparation — must be at least 180 minutes. An internal audit in May found 34 days at the two schools that were only 170 or 175 minutes.

That missing time could be made up in just one or two school days but a further quirk of state law says the short days don't count at all. That means every one of the 34 days must be made up to avoid the penalty in state funds.

Hilary McLean of the state Department of Higher Education said legislators intended to make the penalties stiff to discourage districts from "shaving off minutes here and there."

One of the district's associate superintendents has taken responsibility for the errors. She is retiring this year.
I wonder if she's really responsible or is just taking the fall. I guess it doesn't matter.

It's elementary school. I probably wouldn't send my kid those extra days--we've got trips to take!


maxutils said...

What's wrong with education, #168. First, what kind of idiot would put together a school schedule that didn't have the right number of minutes? ;) Then, does anyone believe that those 5 minutes, even 34 of them, would have made any difference? And, is anyone even half - way convinced that any of the students would come back for 34 days? Or that 34 days in exchange for less than 3 hours missed is even remotely fair? Or $7 million for less than 3 hours? And, should they elect to run the days, how will they pay the teachers? Or, since the days didn't count, do they have to return their salaries?

I think I got them all. Feel free to add if I missed them.

Darren said...

I have an idea. Let's give bureaucrats even *more* control over our lives!

Because this is the kind of thing we'll get for doing so.

Mrs. C said...

It might be "just" elementary school, but I'd be concerned my child would "just" be marked truant if he didn't go.

I'm wondering why they didn't add extra days for cushioning. We have I think about five extra days on the school calendar. So we don't have to keep children in school longer than the scheduled calendar unless there are more than five snow days.

Darren said...

My kid wouldn't be truant, just absent. Asking a kid to go to school for 30+ days because they were supposedly shortchanged 3 hrs of instruction? No, I'd call in and excuse him.

Stopped Clock said...


34 days? That's seven weeks -- they're not going to get out for the summer until August 4th!!

Oh wow I really feel sorry for everyone if this actually goes through.

KauaiMark said...

I find it disturbing that the education "industry", as such, has has entrenched the clock watching mentality of the assembly line worker instead of concentrating on turning out a quality product.

Ellen K said...

I am betting that the unions appeal this decision because on a workday hour, they are really making all these teachers work more than 40 hours a week for the weeks they make up. Who in the world made such a bonehead decision anyway?

maxutils said...

Mark -- you mean time ISN'T quality?

At least it's measurable. Unless you're an administrator, I guess. And, Darren, big of you not to bite on my comment.

Darren said...

I'm a big man, max :-)

Anonymous said...

The criminal part is 34 1/2 days in elementary school. I don't think I ever had a half day. Too many people trying to get by with the bare minimum amount of work. This time they pushed it too far.

Put it up to a vote, dock the teachers and school workers 17 days, or add 17 full days in the summer.

Mrs. C said...

I'm not disagreeing with the principle, Darren. But I can't "excuse" my children from public school. I can withdraw them. Or I can send a doctor's note.

Yet I think we both know that you can't "excuse" your child for seven weeks if it comes down to it. You'd have to band with a lot of other parents to get that one by. Here's hoping some common sense prevails in this case so it doesn't come to that for these families. :]

Joanne Jacobs said...

The Legislature may pass a special bill to save the district the money this will cost.

However, it's not as bad as it sounds for kids: Students who don't want to attend summer school can do an "independent study," which will be meaningless.

Some parents see this as free summer child care. Others will blow it off with no consequences.

Darren said...

I would be in the latter category.

Anonymous said...

State and federal ed depts. should be abolished.