Delegate’s calendar proposal is instance where less is not more

An editorial from The Register-Herald 

BECKLEY, W.Va. — In a state where quality education remains a desired goal but hardly a reality, a proposed bill by Fayette County Delegate Dave Perry would reduce the number of days in a school year from 180 to 175. Perry’s proposal would also prohibit schools from opening their doors until after Labor Day and would order them shut June 5.

That seems to be running in the wrong direction.

 The bill is co-sponsored by Delegate Ricky Moye, D-Raleigh, and Delegate George “Boogie” Ambler, R-Greenbrier.

A former principal at Collins Middle School and a Democrat, Perry said his proposal , “… is a revolutionary change, a more pragmatic, practical approach to what is actually happening in the classroom. There’s nothing magic about 180 days. This bill is based on quality time, not quantity of time.”

We do think Perry is on to something when he would move “high-stakes” testing back toward the close of the school year. Testing now generally occurs in March or April. We agree that, as currently practiced and as Perry points out, “instruction basically stops for students and teachers” for the balance of the school year.

But we’re not so sure about how revolutionary his proposal is. Maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye. But there is ample evidence that suggests more time spent in school — not less — improves student achievement…


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