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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...

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