It’s time for Cobb School board to quit messing with calendar
by Don McKee
October 12, 2012 01:19 AM | 1700 views | 7 7 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
The Cobb school board keeps reverting to its old self in trying to decide on the starting date for classes each year. It seems that each board member has a different idea about when to start school, how many breaks to have and when to end classes.

This has been going on for how many years? There was the big fight a few years ago after some board members were elected on promises to institute a later starting date and then reneged. New members were elected to fix things – and some have changed their minds apparently in favor of the so-called balanced calendar, meaning early start date and more breaks.

The board even created a 21-member committee of parents, district staff members and personnel to hammer out a consensus, but not surprisingly after the group did its job, some complained that at least three school board members had indicated they did not like the proposed calendar – before it was even presented to the board.

Enter Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa who acknowledged that board members indeed found fault with the committee’s calendar for 2013-14. “Consensus decisions are messy,” he told the committee by way of trying to soothe their feelings. “It’s democracy in action,” he added. “We’re trying to come up with the best recommendation that we can.”

If the committee’s Calendar A or Hinojosa’s calendar is finally approved – a big “if” – then school is going to start earlier than the Aug. 13 date for the current school year. Calendar A calls for starting classes either Aug. 1 or Aug. 4, while Hinojosa sets Aug. 7 for the start.

In the committee, Calendar A got 80 points, and Hinojosa’s scored 73 points. So it appears that unless the school board dumps both the proposals, Cobb schools will start at least one week earlier than they did this year. All of which indicates the point made more than once that it seems the balanced calendar supporters will keep chipping away until we have year round schools in Cobb.

Board member Tim Stultz did recommend a change to move the Hinojosa start date from Aug. 7 to Aug. 12, thus keeping it on the second Monday of the month, same as the last two school years. It remains to be seen where that will go or whether the board majority is inclined to move the start date up by a week or two.

Chairman Scott Sweeney, feeling the effects of being in office a couple of years, presented figures to the board indicating that all the important factors – utility costs, attendance and student achievement – were not affected by the calendar. Which in turn suggests that Sweeney is seeing the light per the balanced calendar concept.

And what would any calendar dispute be without board member David Banks presenting his own special version, in this case, the “inverted calendar,” providing one-week breaks in October and February. Inverted, definitely apropos for Banks.

Here’s the best calendar: the current one.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Fed Up
October 14, 2012
Sick of the back and forth. Sick of the board changing its mind. Stop holding the parents of Cobb county hostage with the calendar. We liked the balanced calendar, and that was supposed to have been in place for 3 years. However, the Board changed the calendar mind-stream AFTER AN ELECTION (i.e. new board members were elected and they joined together to change it). Now, Hinojosa and Sweeney are saying that the Board is going to make a ONE year calendar... to get it off the election cycle! Well I have a newsflash - it wasn't on an election cycle and the new Board members changed it anyway. The Board needs to work harder to have community faith restored. Ignoring mountains of emails, impaneling a committee that works hard for months only to have its recommendations ignored, and then announce that we are only doing this dance for ONE year, only to look forward to doing it again next year is NOT good. Get it on track, Hinojosa - or get out!!! All of the calendars have pluses and minuses, but at this point I am so very fed up: GIVE US A 3 YEAR CALENDAR AND STICK WITH IT!
Cobb teacher
October 13, 2012
I wish that parents cared as much about overcrowded classrooms as they do about the calendar. Trust me, most teachers are more concerned about how to manage an effective learning environment with kids sitting on the floor because we don't have enough desks for them than they do about having a week off.
Yes Please!
October 12, 2012
Yes! I agree with Don's best calendar if that means

we want have his tired, repetitive and short sighted

columns from the end of May until after Labor Day each year.
Jim Stoll
October 12, 2012
Our school board members have been fighting over the school calendar for the past five years, with David Banks and his screaming, sign waving motley crew leading the charge. In the meantime, our school board and out wonderous superintendent have yet to come up with an effective "STRATEGY" for how they will go about teaching the 100,000 of so of the students in our schools. That should give parents some idea of the importance they place on the education of our children. Their attitude is why the average SAT scores of our children keeps going down.
Forest or trees
October 12, 2012
What Don fails to reveal is that this would not be

the issue it is if newly elected board members plus

Bartlett had not interrupted a 2 year calendar in

mid stream. Had they let that calendar adoption run

its course and then instituted a later start date

it would have cut down on the controversy. By doing

it the way they did it, they alienated many who voted to put them into office. Also, it is very

noticeable that the MCSD is immune to Don's criticism as to what a school calendar ought to

look like. Why the double standard?
Mr. McKee
October 12, 2012
You never say why you think the current calendar is the best one...the balanced calendar never got a fair chance, it should have been allowed to run the 3 year cycle as originally proposed. I personally hope school starts Aug 1st, with the fall and winter breaks, because I believe it is the best choice. I will vote against any board member that is for the "traditional" (sentimental) calendar. I will also vote against splost if the balanced calendar doesn't return. It is appalling that the committee, just like the survey, is being completely ignored!!!!!!!
October 12, 2012
The 1st week of August is way too early. Move it back to the third or fourth week in August.

We've already booted out some board members because of the early start date.

Do politicians ever listen to the voters?
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