Don't reduce school hours

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, August 01, 2005

I would like to meet the people that feel that the elementary students in Juneau are receiving too much education.

A teacher from Mendenhall River Community School stated that early student release on Fridays would be "an incredibly valuable opportunity for all of us and ultimately all of our students."

How is this possible with the reduction of 8 to 10 school hours a month? If the teachers need more time to better prepare students to meet federal standards, why are they not better utilizing their prep hours, pre- and post-school hours and all the in-services that happen over the year?

I have always been a huge supporter of the schools, and spent time in my daughter's elementary school every week. I know teachers work hard, but our entire education system seems to be failing. Students aren't passing the test to receive a diploma, and so the Department of Education lowers the standards. And now with even less time for the classroom in these two schools, I fear things will only get worse.

I will be interested to watch and see if the students from these elementary schools are going to be the students in the future not passing the benchmark tests and needing even more help later due to the shortened hours now. The kids will be getting even less instruction time from the teachers than they currently receive. How is this benefiting our children?

If the students don't meet standards in core classes, they have to have tutors, attend summer school, and maybe even take the grade over. If the teachers can't teach core, maybe they need to do the same.

Lyndsey Zeller


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