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45/15 plan is anemic idea at best

Published 11:18am Monday, January 24, 2011

Letter to the Editor

Arnold Lang, Austin

A number of public school districts, including Austin, were found negligent in compliance to the federal law No Child Left Behind. Many of those non-compliant districts, again including Austin, failed to show adequate progress toward meeting the federal requirements that address student achievement.

Now I read where the Austin Public Schools is considering a significant change in the traditional school calendar using Sumner Elementary School as an experiment on year-round schooling, i.e. 45-day quarters of uninterrupted instruction with 15 day breaks. As a required corrective action to the law, this idea is Mickey Mouse and as a legitimate effort to improve student learning, anemic at best.

Years and years of valid educational research has shown that many factors influence positive learning. The majority of those factors are directly related to quality of instruction not quantity of instruction.

I encourage parents and the community to speak up and stand up for our children and our schools. Don’t allow the teachers’ union, administration and school board to pluck the lowest hanging apples off the tree as an escape from responsible and effective education.


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