Should Students Have A 4-Day School Week? [Poll]
The popularity of the 4-day school week is growing across the country.
Learn some of the arguments for and against a 4-day school week, then let us know if you’d like to see a 4-day school week at your kids’ school.
There is no shortage of ideas on how to better educate our children: shorter days, longer days, more days, less days, year-round, and summers off are some ideas. The 4-day school week has been slowly growing in popularity.
What are the benefits and risks of a 4-day school week?
Do 4-day school weeks make students better?
Depends who you ask.
When states first agreed to four-day schedules, the reason was to help financially strapped small districts save money on transportation, support staff and utilities. Those savings turned out to be minimal, but that’s not why Miami switched this year.
“This is about making teachers better,” Superintendent Frank Dahman said last month on opening day.
He is convinced that giving teachers those Mondays revs them up so they can do more with the new four than the old five.
Seems hard to argue that teachers wouldn’t have the opportunity to be better prepared with a 4-day school week, but does the shortened week help or hurt students?
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has spoken out against four-day weeks, and school boards in several states have shot down attempts in their districts to move to shorter school weeks. Critics of the shorter week argue high school students should spend more days in school to prepare themselves for college and the workforce.
Here’s some more info on 4-day school weeks from ncsl.org:
-Twenty-one states currently have school districts (with public schools) operating on a four-day week.
-These states include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
-There are more than 120 school districts that host four-day school week programs.
-Usually, these programs are in small, rural districts.
-The policy was first implemented as early as the 1930s, and became more common during the energy crisis of the 1970s.
When school districts face the possibility of closing schools and must find creative ways to educate AND save money, 4-day school weeks offer another option.
I’m not convinced that 4-day school weeks are a better way to educate, but if it’s combined with a longer school year and doesn’t add hours to the school day from Tuesday – Friday, then I become a bigger fan.
What do you think?