Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Officially Done

It looks like the Maryland General Assembly just may return the control of school calendars to local jurisdictions. I am in favor of this move, to put it mildly. I will not go over my reasoning point by point today. We’ve been there, and done that.

There is just one thing. (Cue Columbo in the doorway.) The biggest reason I have seen for starting school after Labor Day is “We did it that way when I was young.” I have now officially reached my limit with that argument.

Here, for your edification, are a random assortment of things that “we did when I was young.”

  • Girls were required to wear skirts or dresses to school regardless of the weather.
  • Airplanes caused “sonic booms” over residential areas.
  • Women smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol while pregnant.
  • Women could get fired for being pregnant.
  • One could be fired/arrested for being gay.
  • Air pollution was widespread.
  • Women couldn’t get credit in their own names.
  • Lead paint was legal and widely used.
  • The Buddy Deane Show was segregated.
  • Fatalities from car crashes were increasing towards an all-time high.

Please, oh please do not tell me that starting school after Labor Day is the right choice because “those were the days.” Some of those days were not as sunny as they seem to be in the nostalgic haze people keep them in. Or maybe they were sunny for you, but not for others.

Did you ever think about that?

If you want to sell me on a change that will have an impact on students, parents, and teachers statewide then tell me this: how does this change enhance student learning and well-being? How does it show understanding of parent/family needs? How does it support teachers as they strive to do their best for their students?

Your childhood and mine, for that matter, aren’t all that relevant here. It’s 2019 and we need to be making 21st century choices that put today’s children at the center.

Rant over. And tomorrow’s post will be cheerier, I promise. 

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