Dale Dennis Speaks Out against a Four-Day School Week

In the video clip below, captured during an IDL session with in January 2009 with the Southwest Plains Regional Service Center (an address to the Council of Superintendents), Dale Dennis, Kansas Assistant Commissioner of Education, explains why he does not recommend schools establish a four-day school week as a response to budget cuts.


4 day work week

If it is only about the money then why not close the buildings and give students a computer and do it all online. Having 4 days is NOTa good idea for students and their families. In families most adults are working 5 or more days a week. What will they do with their children on the fifth day? Idleness is the devil's workshop. Students who already need more time in study would have less and students would develop an expectation of four days and then expect that in the world of work.

As a teacher, para, food service worker, bus driver, and others pay would be affected, about 36 days less of it a year. Is that reasonable? Would the superintendent take a cut too?

I have taught 40 years this year and I am so disappointed with the direction things are headed. We are losing sight of the students. We teach facts but don't teach them how to live in the world today. They aren't taught to eat properly as they once had home economics, we reap obesity because people don't understand that some foods are excess and and quantities should be limited. They aren't taught to budget or balance a check book or manage a credit card, so many as adults are in trouble over money. If fact that is generational now. Learning about money and it's proper use was lost in favor of more abstract math. Students are not held accountable for their decisions, most things are blamed on the teacher or school. Student's don't do the work and somehow it is translated to the teacher's fault.

I have stopped telling young people that teaching is a great profession. I have learned slowly over the years that it is just a job and the only thing that matters is the bottom line; which has been and is, DO MORE WITH LESS AND CALL IT BETTER.

I would like to work where kids really where our most important issue. I don't think it would cost more. We are now working with birth to three, three years to school age and then until students quit or graduate. What do we have at the end? We have some who are going to go to college about a third. Most of those won't finish. So we have two thirds who are not going to college. Are they ready to work. No. They still expect to do little only they want to get paid now for it.

Nothing is free expect decay. We are sadly headed in that direction.