With so many believing the United States is severely behind other countries in education, it is noble that the Apple Valley/Eagan/Rosemount school district (ISD196) is looking for ways to better the instruction of its students in an attempt to compete. However some may question whether further decreasing the amount of days a student is in the classroom is the best way to do that.
Board members also are considering giving teachers more time to study student performance data so they can realign and improve instruction.
Tom Pederstuen, district human resources director, introduced a proposed change to the current school calendar that would give middle- and elementary-school teachers March 9 as a day for professional development. High school teachers already use the day for training and collaboration.
Although students would have fewer classroom days, school leaders hope giving teachers more time to use test scores and other data to hone instruction will result in better achievement.
However, as has been discussed on Lazy Lightning before, US students are lagging behind their international counterparts at least partially due to over a month less spent in school each year (~40 days). While this single day will certainly not lose much ground in this area, some may wonder whether the district should be doing more to push the needle back the other way; increasing the number of days educators should be in front of students in the classroom, instead of less.
Will this single day of work without the distraction of students really be able to provide a big jump in the quality of education provided? Are you glad that the district was able to come to an amicable agreement with the union without the need for excessive raises? Do you think more should have come out of this for the taxpayers (or conversely: the teachers)? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.