Monday, June 05, 2006

Jeb Bush signs education bill

Here's a law that's all flash and no substance. It's a mishmash of a bunch of educational stuff, but the two items that are being trumpeted the most are the provision requiring high school students to declare a major and a minor, and the provision which prohibits local districts from starting the school year more than 2 weeks prior to labor day.

Making students declare a major is just typical politics, putting lipstick on a pig. Kind of like making uniforms mandatory will suddenly solve all of our school behavior problems.

It's the school start date thing that pisses me off. There were some vocal people complaining that these early start dates were taking summer away from their kids. First, kids get 10 weeks off, regardless of when school starts and ends. Second, in Florida, the weather is far nicer in May than it is in August. I would much rather plan family trips at the end of May or beginning of June than the middle of August. Not to mention the rates from cruises and hotels are cheaper in May. In Duval county our school year runs from the second week of August to the third week of May. I know that the main reason this was done was so that the kids would get more review time prior to the FCAT, but it worked out well even so. The first semester now ends when the kids get out for Christmas break. With this new law, now finals and/or mid-terms will be held when the kids get back from break. That makes a lot of sense. But, unfortunately, nobody really cared and all the politicians in Tallahassee saw was a nice feel-good law that would make it look like they were doing something. Bastards. So much for local control.

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John Howard said...

The uniform nonesense was even worse here, since they made it easy to opt out, which just ended up making it not truly mandatory, and therefore a big waste of time, even if it had been a good idea.

the SIL said...

ah yes. The 'optional' mandatory school uniforms. Although I've been informed that they aren't actually 'optional' next year for my two daughters. They're in an IB Primary Years school. The school is in a very BAD area of town and does have a lot of the local children attending. Something like 87% of the kids are on free lunch. Personally, I don't see uniforms solving any of the problems the school faces...