AUBURN RESIDENTS BE CONCERNED?
>> There are very few long term
studies of academic effects of Year-Round School. The few that exist show that
you can't tell if there are any long term changes in academic performance or
not with Year-Round School (i.e. there is no significant difference in
performance on tests between students on the "Traditional, 9-month"
calendar and those on a "Year-Round" calendar).
Impact in the USA
the research on YRS says!
>> There are no good academic
reasons for changing to YRS. If there were a chance that students would learn
and retain significantly more, then Year-Round School would be worth examining.
The educational literature shows there is no significant academic improvement
under Year-Round School.
>> Concerning why Auburn City
Schools is considering Year-Round School, School Board President Ms. Pittard
has said "The premise (for Year-Round School) is more continuity of
learning" (OA News, 15 Sep 1998, pA5). How will lengthening the breaks in
the school year preserve this? IF we have a shortened 7 - 11 week summer (Ms.
Rainer's memo to all PTA and parents, 14 Sep 1998), we will lengthen the breaks
during the school year. If the breaks in the school year are longer, how will
we preserve "continuity of learning"? I'm all confused.
>> If remedial work is needed by
some, create (fund) programs to remediate, but don't change the entire system
just to make remediation more available to a few.
>> The cost of Year-Round School
tends to be significantly higher than for the Tarditional 9-month calander.
of YRS in the USA
>> Vincent, AL showed an
improvement after one year of Year-Round School. They are still one of the
worst academic schools in their county. The one year improvement is due to the
"Hawthorne Effect" (any change results in a temporary improvement), a
long standing principle of psychology. This has been seen in other schools that
have switched to Year-Round School. After a few years test scores have returned
to what they were before the change to this alternative calendar.
>> The sample summer schedule
from Alex city is cited in Ms. Rainer's memo as being 9 weeks. It's actually 8
weeks. (Ms. Rainer's memo to all PTA and parents, 14 Sep 1998). Also, Alexander
City schools just implemented their Year-Round calendar. It is too early to
draw any conclusions from their experience.
>> 19 members of the committee
are brand new (as of 1 Sep 1998). How can they be expected to get up to speed
on the "facts" to make a learned decision on the Fact Sheet in less
than three weeks (they weren't given the information until about 12 Sept. and
have had little time to read it, ponder and search for more information).
>> Only 3% of US schools use a
Year-Round calendar, yet it,s been around for 30 years. Only 1600 (1.6%) are on
single track. There are about 100,000 schools in the US. There have been
hundreds and hundreds of these that have tried YRS and went back to the
traditional calendar that we use (see website
http://www.primenet.com/~wwalker/index.html for many, many examples).
>> What's the hurry? Most parents
haven't heard about our school system's consideration of YRS, nor have they had
time to digest the many facts concerning this issue. Yet the YRS Committee
report is due in "early November" (Dr. Martin, 1 Sep 1998) and the
decision as to whether an alternative calendar will be implemented in Auburn is
slated for "early December" 1998. No public meetings have been held
for citizen/business/teacher/student input.
>> Why do we have time to fool
around with Year-Round School, yet there are few books in two of our new
elementary school libraries.
>> Teacher's can't go to college
to pursue continued education in the summer if public school is session.
>> What of the seminar "Can
Alabama Tourism survive YRS?" by Ms. Suzanne McCrary recently delivered at
the Auburn University Conference Center? Did Dr. Martin or his staff attend
>> The length of the YRS meetings
cited in Dr. Freeman's history of Year-Round School in Auburn is cited as 2
-2.5 hours each. The 1 Sep 1998 meeting was explicitly limited to 90 minutes by
Dr. Martin. I hope the others will be long enough to accomplish the agenda.
>> More schools use YRS calendars
in California than anywhere else. Yet many CA schools, when parents could vote,
voted for the traditional calendar. All schools but one in Los Angeles (more
than 540) returned to the traditional calendar in 1993 after YRS failed to
result in significant educational improvement (see
has been said" page).
>> Schools are going off
Year-Round School, back to traditional calendar, yet the Year-Round School
Committee hasn't interviewed administrators, teachers, or parents from any of
these. Not one. Let's find out why they quit YRS and went back to a traditional
calendar like ours.
>> This is more than an academic
change - it's a lifestyle change (sports, band, vacations, summer jobs, local
businesses, family life are all affected)
>> It's not new; tried in 1903 in
Bluffton, IA (and rejected later)
>> Why did Dr. Martin say the
reason he formed the committee in Fall 1997 was because the Auburn 2020 report
required it, when the Auburn 2020 report was not reviewed, accepted and
approved until Summer 1998?
>> We haven't adjusted to Block
Scheduling at the Auburn High School (as Dr. Self said on September 8, 1998 at
the Board meeting). Block scheduling has resulted in 1 of every 6 Auburn High
School students taking a non-academic course 25% of each day. Let's take the
time to determine how good or bad block scheduling is before implementing a YRS
calendar. YRS is Block Scheduling for the entire school system. .
>> We've had enough recent
changes (rezoning, new schools, rapid growth) in our school system. We need to
take the time to determine what effects these changes will have (positive or
negative) before considering a new major change such as YRS.
>> Where does the city council
stand on this? the mayor elect?
the STOP YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL
300 N. Dean Rd. P.O. Box
5172Auburn, AL 36830-5045 Tel: