There are a few problems with focusing on time alone.
The first is that our students lead complicated lives that do not necessarily fall into the traditional, probably outdated, educational model. Our students have jobs, kids, siblings, homework, and/or some combination of those responsibilities and more. Why shouldn't a student be able to demonstrate proficiency in all of the areas required by law, finish early, and continue on to the next step in their journey?
The second is that time served doesn't guarantee mastery. There are plenty of people that have been doing the same job for 30 years and still aren't good at it. There is a reason promotions and leadership roles, generally speaking, are based on merit rather than familial ties or age. Old doesn't mean better.
The third is that time in the seat doesn't mean time on task. If you've been in a classroom as a teacher, this is something that you already know. If you have ever been a student, this is something you remember. Our minds wander. Not all of our instructors are the same level of quality. We should be rewarding student learning rather than punishing students for learning at their own pace.
The fourth is the quandary this is no doubt about to cause. If you are pro-time in the seat, you can't also be pro-suspensions. Period. I've been paying attention long enough to see where this is going. Lines will be drawn and many of the same folks that don't want to shift from the importance of time in the classroom are going to be the same folks to don't want to keep kids in the classroom by reducing suspensions. Just a hunch.
I understand that there are financial implications to students graduating faster. I understand that time in the seat is money in the pocket; however, I'm more focused on the services and opportunities that are being provided and whether or not they are best for our students. Are we trying to create schools or containment units? Are we focused on teaching kids or limiting their interactions with world during daylight hours? Perhaps that's a question for the philosophers.
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Dallas ISD Pre-K Suspensions
Back in my Day is bad for Dallas ISD students