4-day school weeks? Too good to be true

Hindsight may be 20/20, but the failed experiment to shorten the school week to four days, we believe, never stood a chance of panning out. We credit our leaders in education for thinking outside the box on this one in order to boost academic performance, and there’s no arguing the schools that took part in the experiment did realize some cost savings, but losing a school day to do it?

This plan seemed doomed from the get-go and, indeed, seven of the 11 rural districts with four-day weeks will return to their normal schedules.

To sacrifice an entire day of learning never say well with us, and in the end, test scores in the districts that took part in the experiment did not improve.

Sure, many families loved the idea, and obviously the kids did, too, but when it comes to reforming our education system – a pretty good one that has served us well for decades – we prefer tweaking to overhauling.

We’re not against testing radical ideas in theory – sometimes they do work and make a profound difference – but toying with our children’s education by telling our schools to drop a whole day of school every week is a bit too radical for our taste.

Instead of implementing wacky ideas like four-day weeks, we think the focus should be on the people inside the schools – the administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals – to come up ways to help our young students. We believe in and trust our teachers in southwest Minnesota because we have some of the best in the state. Let’s let them do what they think is right on a local level, within the walls of their respective schools.

When you start experimenting with our kids and our schools, you had better be sure there’s a good chance of some kind of payoff at the end, otherwise, you’re risking throwing the students off the educational track – not a good thing with the real young students.

Who doesn’t love a three-day weekend, right? But teachers and students should be at school five days a week. That’s how it’s always been done and how it should always be done in the future.

We give our state leaders in the education world an “A” for effort, even though this experiment failed.