Plan for snow days, cut days off so kids can have summer

July 05, 2011

The Howard County Public School System is the very last in the state to finish the school year, dragging it out until June 22. Yes, while Frederick, Montgomery, Carroll county children that my children know are laughing at us, my kids are taking final exams. Why?

The short answer is that they didn't plan for any/enough "snow" days. That is nothing short of ridiculous! The school system that closes or delays school when there is so much as one snowflake didn't plan on having to close school? Be serious.

The problem is the huge number of "professional days", "in-service days", union indoctrination days, etc. There are some 30 full days (plus 11 half days) when there is no teaching taking place at all. Granted there are legitimate week-long breaks for Christmas and Easter, but the rest are needlessly dragging the school year well into the summer. We do not need parent-teacher conferences for every child with every teacher, just the ones with valid concerns. We do not need to extend the school year so teachers can complete report cards, or fill out government paperwork. We do not need a much shorter summer than the rest of the state for any reason at all.

There should be a standard school calendar, for every jurisdiction, because the Board of Education is clearly incapable of doing their job. They are too worried about process, too worried about making sure their opinion is all that matters, and too worried about keeping their deliberations secret. They cause their own problems and blame everyone else.

I urge all Howard Countians to vote against each and every incumbent board member until the useless are purged. Only then will we get a board that listens to parents, listens to the children and behaves like adults. Then we can perhaps end the school year in the middle of June like everyone else.

Pat Dornan


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