Early release days

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    Early release days

    Newton's school district says teachers need more time for professional development. Parents say their children need more hours in class.

    A decision by the Newton district to add two early release days to the middle-school calendar has brought this long-simmering debate to the surface.

    What do you think about early release days?
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    Early release days

    The question is, "Is the purpose of public schools to employ teachers? Or is the purpose of public schools to educate children?"

    When a school district consistently explains its actions through the lens of how it furthers the development of teachers instead of how it would benefit the education of the children, I get very concerned.

    But let's look at what we know. I have not seen any metrics that demonstrate how education is improved with the addition of these early release days. (I've seen evidence that teachers who continue their professional development through evening classes or summer projects bring new insights into their classroom during the school year, but not from the 1/2 dozen early release days sprinkled throughout the year)

    We do have some evidence that fewer early release days seems to correlate with higher performing school districts. Just take a look at Winchester, Sharon, Belmont and Brookline! Who all seemed to have quite high performing school districts, in fact seemingly better than Newton! (Check this out!)