According to them, as cited in an MDJ article, it was decided at the first meeting that the No.1 goal would be to have breaks in late September/early October and again in February. The stated purpose of this was to “boost morale, achievement and attendance among teachers and students.” We have seen no supported evidence that adding two weeks of breaks into the school year will accomplish those goals. That statement appears to have come from the same kind of manipulative mind that wrote the ballot language for the TSPLOST vote. It is, in fact, a “non sequitur.”
It would only boost the morale of those teachers who continue to live under the delusion that their job is more stressful than those of policemen, firefighters, ER doctors, and others who handle life and death situations daily, but continue doing their jobs without whining for constant breaks. I believe that these teachers are in a minority and that the majority of teachers do not start the school year counting the days until the first break.
It is my opinion that, even if they get these breaks, it will not satisfy them. They will, in a few years, decide they need another two weeks. They, and the entire educational system, would fare much better if these people found a different occupation. I wish them Godspeed in their efforts to find a job in which they are granted a week off every six or seven weeks.
That evidence is unmistakable that the current calendar is not, nor never was, even in consideration by this subterfuge committee. Any group which acts as a façade for presenting a predetermined “conclusion” can hardly be called relevant. More proper terms for such would range from “window dressing” to “shills.”
In one interview, reported in the MDJ, we learned that one of the resources referred to, and used by some of the committee, was the inane Monkey Survey taken in early 2011. It is sad that anyone is still quoting this fiasco, which has been debunked so many times by so many different people and groups, that it has become a joke. Yet, a drama teacher from Kennesaw Mountain, on the committee, referenced it as justification for the fall break. Kind of makes you shudder to think what other justification this group may have used in refusing to consider the current compromise calendar. When you continually use as justification a survey in which 14,000 teachers all vote for one thing, from a district with only 8,000 teachers, something is flawed.
This issue continues to be misrepresented as a choice between a “balanced calendar” with school beginning the first of August, and a “traditional calendar” with school beginning after Labor Day.
In truth, that is not the issue at all. We currently have a compromise calendar, which has served us well for some time, and it is not even being considered. It has school beginning the middle of August and should be the ideal compromise and one that everybody should accept. Even though folks on the traditional calendar side have accepted it, making no move to go to the post-Labor Day start, those on the other side have not. The balanced calendar advocates are being totally unreasonable and immature, by insisting it has to be all their way.
Since the school board will have new members being seated the first of January, does it not make sense to wait until that time before taking the vote? The push to have the vote now could only mean one thing. They must have the necessary votes committed to pass the balanced calendar. In order for that to be true, one of the Reformer Four, who campaigned for later start dates, must have capitulated. Smart money says, if anyone has, it is probably Chairman Scott Sweeney.
Approval of the calendar is strictly up to the school board, and not reliant on recommendations from any other entity. There is no obligation to accept the recommendations of the calendar committee. They could refuse, and retain the current calendar.
Let’s hope they do and put this issue to bed. Well, at least until board member David Banks starts whining again.
Pete Borden is a retired masonry contractor from east Cobb.