There are a lot of people that complain about what our legislators at the state and federal level do in regards to education, but for the most part, I haven't been one of them...until now.
It's one thing for our state legislators to extend our school year by five days. I understand that if you look at our students' test scores, they ain't all that. So, one could make the argument that five more days in school could increase our students' scores. Fine--add a week to the beginning of the school year, or two at the beginning and three at the end.
But, no. We take away vacations and teacher workdays within the established calendar so we can add our five days without adding five days of pay to our teachers' paychecks. I'm not upset about losing out on any money. What makes me mad are the options presented to us: take away Memorial Day, three days of spring break or other such nonsense.
Why do we need those days? As I tell my students, the longest stretch of the school year is from Labor Day to the end of first quarter. We go five straight weeks, five days a week. Students get on teachers' nerves and teachers get on students' nerves. Our students here had been relatively well-behaved until the last couple of weeks; now kids are starting to snap. We need those workdays to keep sanity for both our teachers and our students. Without them, where will the break come from?
Adapted from my blog: ramblingcteteacher.blogspot.com