SocraticGadfly: Lancaster ISD four-day school week? This turkey won’t fly

July 19, 2007

Lancaster ISD four-day school week? This turkey won’t fly

I don’t blog much about my old stomping grounds and previous newspaper coverage of Lancaster, Texas, but the latest idea from Lancaster ISD Superintendent Larry Lewis, a four-day school week, was just too good to pass up.

First of all, especially since it’s a last-minute move in the face of a looming Sept. 1 budget deadline AND contravenes Texas Education Policy standards that say you need to request a waiver for a four-day week 90 days before the start of a school year, this looks like a rabbit being pulled out of a hat, or perhaps something else being pulled out of some bodily part.

Second, Lewis’ idea that he can sell the public on this through walking tours of Lancaster? Uhh, that didn’t work too well the last two bond elections, did it?

Oh, and Dr. Lewis, are you going to “request” that school teachers help out on walks this time, too? They’ll be about as likely to show enthusiasm for that as a Dell computer CD-ROM drive is likely to not be stolen from the new high school.

As for saving money on buses, I doubt Lewis has even talked to Dallas County Schools, the district’s busing contractor, yet. Utility savings? Well, you only get real savings if you have programmable thermostats. Given that the majority of school buildings there are too old to have been built with such things, unless they’ve been retrofitted, you have to trust maintenance crews or teachers to hand-adjust thermostats on Thursday nights.

And, how well will high schoolers stay awake through a school day almost 10 hours long?

Oh, and Carolyn was the only board member to oppose this? I see some things haven’t changed a lot.

Final thought: As my friend Chuck Bloom points out, when the Snooze (Dallas Morning News) writes something about Lancaster, it’s probably because it’s bad news.


Anonymous said... rude?!

Gadfly said...

If you're referring to my comments, you either don't know Larry D. Lewis well or else you're a suckup.

If you're referring to my comments about the Snooze, ditto.

If you're referring to the actual situation, you're spot-on.