Letter: Cutting school year a disastrously bad idea
Editor, Gazette Journal:
"Education is alive and well" Assistant Superintendent John Hutchinson told the School Board Tuesday, according to the Gazette-Journal’s Kim Robins (Dec. 16 issue).
The effect of reducing the school year from 180 days to 160 days is saving 100 gallons of diesel fuel a day and the cafeteria is still profitable!
Japanese school children are in school 240 days a year, 80 days more than Gloucester’s children. Sixteen percent of Japanese 15-year-olds are proficient in advanced math compared to only 6 percent of Virginia’s children.
The question is not how much diesel fuel the school system saves, but how many Gloucester children get into good colleges and universities. Amanda Ripley makes a dramatic graphic display of how our children rank in the December 2010 issue of The Atlantic magazine: Virginia ranks 34th from the top (Taiwan) in advanced level math.
University of Chicago economist R. G. Rajan ranks poor education as one of the main causes of the much discussed income inequality that is dividing our nation (Fault Lines. Princeton Univ. Press, 2010.)
Cutting the school year is a disastrously bad idea.
John C. Partin, M.D.