Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Is This Really Something That Should Be Determined At The State Level?

Whenever people want "the government" to make a statewide law about education, I always ask:  is this proposed law just as good for the people of Susanville as it is for the people of San Francisco?  Does it make as much sense in Lincoln as it does in Los Angeles?  Will it have the same effect in Madera as in Santa Monica?

We have urban, suburban, and rural areas in California.  Each has different needs, and the needs of students are different in each.  That's kinda sorta why we pay lip service to "local control" of schools and districts.  But the do-gooders want to enforce their righteous good on everyone:
School boards and teachers unions successfully shot down a legislative proposal last year that would delay start times until 8:30 a.m. at middle and high schools in California.

Now the bill is back, with a better shot at becoming law.

Sen. Anthony Portantino, who introduced the bill, cites public research that says later school start times improve pupil health. He has several studies on his side, and his staff put together a 218-page book on the policy last year to prove it.

The Democrat from La Cañada Flintridge cites a 2014 recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics to start middle and high schools no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to offset sleep deprivation. The AAP linked insufficient sleep to physical and mental health problems in adolescents.
I always ask: do students in other developed and/or high-performing countries have the sleep deprivation we supposedly have here in California?

A couple of years ago I polled my senior classes (sample size: approximately 100) if they would rather start school earlier or later.  Even those half-asleep in 1st period said they'd rather start earlier--they wanted their afternoons free.  The vote was close to 100-0.

Wait, who is this strange fellow in my bed?
The California Teachers Association argues that Senate Bill 328 eliminates local control and that legislators in Sacramento should not unilaterally dictate the first school bell for diverse communities all over the state.

“It should be a conversation that should be had by school district officials, parents, students and educators,” said Claudia Briggs, a CTA spokesperson. “We shouldn’t have a one-size fits all approach for all school start times based on how geographically diverse and large our state is.”
Go figure!

And this Democrat makes the most sense of all:
“Maybe we should just have a mandatory bedtime bill because that’s the real issue here,” O’Donnell said. “If you’re worried about kids not getting enough sleep, maybe they should go to bed earlier.“
Parental responsibility for raising kids.  No village.  Hmmm.


Marlex said...

On that last quote, I wouldn't trust them to actually be sarcastic.

Darren said...

I assumed he was being sarcastic, but still making the point about *parents*, not *the state*, taking some responsibility.

Pseudotsuga said...

But...but...we need central control over education (Fed, State, etc) or else muh equality or something!

Anonymous said...

Students would vote for starting school at 5:00am if that meant it would end at 12noon.

They would also vote for free and unfettered access to their phones during all school hours.

And a host of other unhealthy/unsavory things. We don't always cater to students' wishes. Especially those that yield votes of 100-0.