Minimum school days to maximize learning

Learning takes time. Students need time in the classroom, with their teachers and with other students.

Right now, Hawaii has the shortest school year in the nation: 161 instruction days. Contract re-negotiations have fallen through time and time again.

The Department of Education (DOE) has lost the chance to show that they are proactive. The Legislature has already proposed a minimum of 180 instruction days per year (“GOP seeks to mandate 180 school days a year,” Honolulu Star-Bulletin 1/22/10).

How can the DOE prove that they are putting students first?

They need to examine the curriculum in public schools; study how much instruction time is needed (not just a random number); and support a minimum number of instruction days per school year, and a minimum number of instruction hours per day.

The only exceptions to instruction days would be for natural disasters (storms and hurricanes), power-outages, and unsafe conditions. The only exceptions to instruction hours would be for special assemblies and events.

Would this help the DOE to win back some of your trust?

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