Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Education Reform: One More Hour for Low Performing Schools

Posted For

Sandra In Brevard

Earlier this year, Florida Senator David Simmons declared his intention of filing a bill that would extend the day for schools categorized as low performing. According to the Tampa Bay Gradebook, bill details will be revealed this week.

Simmons calculates the cost for such an initiative ranges between $30 and $100 million dollars. "He said he strongly believes the Legislature will be able to find the money."

Some school districts have been supporting extra time in low performing schools. Teachers have a lot to cover and some students seem to benefit from additional time. Unless I am missing something, Simmons should be able to refine the range of costs since the math seems relatively simple: the number of low performing schools x number of teachers and staff x 1 additional hour of operational costs

It is difficult to comment without reading the details; however, this bill is a targeted solution to a defined problem. Adding an hour is not a complex effort requiring enormous effort. Also, this solution means the students needs are front and center. What really matters is not the time itself, but the quality of that hour. I'll keep an eye out for the bill.


Missed reading a blog on Florida education reform efforts? You will find them all here.

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  1. "The quality of that hour"

    That's the one thing that might be an issue.. For openers you're dealing with under performing kids. Under performance is an indication that the many of the kids, for whatever reason, either have short attention spans or don't want to be there to begin with. An extra hour won't help them.

    It does seem to be the first Education Reform Idea out of Tally that looks more like a plan than a scheme

  2. On the flip side, there is evidence in Florida that it has been having some success. Some kids need more help and that takes extra time. It is an example of a real plan that addresses a real problem.

  3. How about dual enrollment in a good school to offset the failing school?

  4. Anonymous, as educational solutions go, it's realitively inexpensive. As Sandra pointed out, costs can be determined before we spend the money.. If we find out later it's not working so well, ending it would be fairly easy.

    You're telling us there are indications it works, If so, I see no reason not to seriously consider it. I would like to see it left up to the local districts whether or not to implement the plan. I don't have a great deal of faith in Tally or DC's management skills.

  5. Madpole, at some level that might make sense. I don't think it would work to well with younger kids.. We also don't want to get into a situation that might revive busing.

    If a school can't seem to get right after reasonable efforts have failed, it might be an idea to go a different route. Instead of promoting of hiring someone out of the public system as principle and vice principles for a school like that, I have a different idea. Why not hire a different kind of educator. Maybe a recently retired gunny with at least ten years experience as a "teacher" at Paris Island?

    He might not be to popular, but hell, those guys are used to students who hate them.

  6. Looks like a hot-time in the old town tomorrow. Wednesday is shaping up to a big day in Tally, in more ways than one. SB736 will be reviewed by the Senate Budget committee. Now will the public get the answers to these questions:
    1) How much SB736 will cost above and beyond RT3 funding and the Governor's proposed budget cuts?
    2) Where the money will come from?

    Meanwhile, the House PreK-12 Education Competitiveness committee will have a meeting, but not sure if there will be a vote.

  7. I meant to add....I am not holding my breath on getting the answers.

  8. Don't hold your breath for those answers, we like having you around..

    Aren't the teachers having a shindig up there tomorrow as well?

  9. Grumpy: I read there's something planned for tomorrow. We'll just all have to watch the news and see what's what. I'm going to keep following what the legislators are doing. They will take cover and advantage while the media reports shindigs. I'm staying with what they are trying to cook up. Right now, a cost analysis would be an exciting revelation for me.


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