BILL WOULD EXTEND HIGH SCHOOL YEAR.Byline: Michael Michael, archangel
Michael (mī`kəl) [Heb.,=who is like God?], archangel prominent in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. In the Bible and early Jewish literature, Michael is one of the angels of God's presence. Coit Daily News Staff Writer
The Oxnard Union High School District Oxnard Union High School District is a high school district for public schools in Oxnard, California that also serves the surrounding unincorporated areas of El Rio, Channel Islands and Somis as well as the cities of Port Hueneme and Camarillo wants to test whether boosting student performance might be as simple as adding days to the school calendar.
The district has proposed becoming the first school system in the state to add 15 days to the 180-day academic year. Legislation introduced in the California California (kăl'ĭfôr`nyə), most populous state in the United States, located in the Far West; bordered by Oregon (N), Nevada and, across the Colorado River, Arizona (E), Mexico (S), and the Pacific Ocean (W). Assembly last week calls for state funding for a three-year pilot project.
The proposal was written by a district task force that wants to test a theory often heralded: If staying in school about 240 days each year is good for children in some other countries, then their counterparts in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. also should benefit from more time learning and less time playing.
"We would like to show that more time on task will positively affect student achievement, and we think that it will," said Gary Davis, the district's assistant superintendent Assistant Superintendent, or Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was a rank used by police forces in the British Empire. It was usually the lowest rank that could be held by a European officer, most of whom joined the police at this rank. for educational services. "That's why it's a very simple proposal."
While state lawmakers are expected to question the program's anticipated $12.3 million cost, many teachers already doubt the anticipated benefits for students.
"The additional 15 days are not going to improve learning," said Darrell Larkin, president of the Oxnard Federation of Teachers. "It's just more days. It doesn't restructure the system, it just adds time."
The proposal calls for adding seven days to the second semester se·mes·ter
One of two divisions of 15 to 18 weeks each of an academic year.
[German, from Latin (cursus) s of the 1996-97 year and 15 days to each school year during a three-year period beginning in fall 1997.
Contained in a bill by Assemblyman as·sem·bly·man
A man who is a member of a legislative assembly.
pl -men a member of a legislative assembly
Noun 1. Nao Takasugi, R-Oxnard, the proposal would cost $1.8 million in salaries and other expenses the first year and $3.5 million in each of the three succeeding years. The cost would go higher if other districts showed interest and were allowed to lengthen length·en
tr. & intr.v. length·ened, length·en·ing, length·ens
To make or become longer.
lengthen·er n. their school calendar.
Takasugi said the pilot project would be a worthwhile venture to give educators and parents a chance to learn whether students will gain from more time in the classroom.
"It's just a matter of prioritizing what the needs are, and there is no higher one than this," said Takasugi, who graduated from Oxnard High School Oxnard High School, or OHS as it is commonly referred to, is a public four-year high school serving grades 9-12 in Oxnard, California. The school is the oldest in the Oxnard Union High School District, and is the oldest public high school in all of Ventura County. , as did his five children.
Takasugi contends that spending more days in school will help U.S. students close an academic gap between them and their counterparts in the world's other advanced economies. The assemblyman said the performance of exchange students in many Ventura County classrooms is enough cause for concern.
"If we have a transfer student from Germany or Japan come in, beyond the language barrier, they are far ahead of our students," Takasugi said. "We've got to get our kids caught up because today your competition in the private sector is not just from your own country, it's global."
Ryan Ingrassia, a Camarillo Camarillo (kă'mərē`yō), city (1990 pop. 52,303), Ventura co., S Calif.; inc. 1964. It is the center of a fertile farm area where citrus fruits and flowers are grown. High School junior on the task force, doesn't like being compared with teen-agers overseas. Ingrassia nevertheless said a longer school year would give him more more time to improve his writing, read history, and polish a foreign language.
"I think the older students will try to resist this, but it will be new for the incoming freshmen," he said. "I think it's something someone needs to try."
"It's very hard to even make it through a textbook textbook Informatics A treatise on a particular subject. See Bible. in a year," Ingrassia noted.
Ingrassia acknowledged that a longer school year could be a tough sell for the 13,000 students on the district's six campuses.
"If you have a day where you can go to Magic Mountain, then the school is the enemy for taking the day away from you," he said.
School officials said the proposed pilot project would provide a good gauge of whether more classroom time boosts student performance, as well as whether the idea generates enough support.
Bill Studt, superintendent of the Oxnard Union High School District, said an important barometer will be the freshman class entering school this coming fall. After four years, those students would have been in school 52 more days than a student graduating this year.
"They're going to get just about a tad short of an additional semester, and we think it will better prepare our students across the board," Studt said.
The task force determined that such a reform could benefit every student and proposed extending the school year at all of the district's campuses in the Oxnard and Camarillo area, including the continuation school continuation school: see vocational education. for students at risk of dropping out.
"Many dropouts will say they're not succeeding, they're in too far over their heads and don't think they can graduate, and they leave school," Davis said. "We think this proposal is going to help all students. This is not just for the college-bound students."
Supporters of the proposal, however, acknowledge that including the entire district will make a pilot program expensive.
The legislative measure is expected to get an initial hearing in the Assembly Education Committee within a month. The true test will come in the Appropriations Committee In the United States government, the Appropriations Committee can refer to either:
"It's not going to be easy just because it takes a lot of money and no one knows if it's worth it," said Bob Blattner, legislative coordinator for School Services http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Schools_Collection_May_2007_2.JPGSchool Services are a business unit of the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa). They provide curriculum and advisory services to support New Zealand schools. of California, the lobbying group helping push the measure in Sacramento.
"We contend that it's a wise use of the money," he said. "You compare us to the different countries and the evidence would certainly tend to lead one to think that they think it's worthwhile."
The only other California public school district to lengthen its school calendar was South Bay Union Elementary School elementary school: see school. District in San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. County.
Blattner said that program did not provide a good gauge of whether longer school years made a difference in student performance. He said the program was voluntary and ultimately proved unpopular because the district took federal and state funding from so-called categorical That which is unqualified or unconditional.
A categorical imperative is a rule, command, or moral obligation that is absolutely and universally binding.
Categorical is also used to describe programs limited to or designed for certain classes of people. programs, such as special education and reading, to pay costs.
"The Oxnard program would be a start," he said.
Administrators, teachers and parents began talking last fall about adding weeks to the calendar for district high schools.
The district task force crafted the proposal by referring to a 1994 U.S. Department of Education report titled "Prisoners of Time." The primary conclusion of that study was that the 175- or 180-day school year, common across the nation, is public education's primary flaw.
Supporters of the Oxnard proposal say that students are expected to learn more in core subjects, improve study skills, and perform better on standardized tests A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a standard manner. The tests are designed in such a way that the "questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent"  than their predecessors, but they have no more time in the classroom.
The teachers' federation, however, took an official position in November to oppose the proposal, voting against it by a margin of 69 percent to 31 percent. The federation includes 1,100 teachers and classified staff, said Larkin, the president.
"They felt it was a shortsighted short·sight·ed
1. Nearsighted; myopic.
2. Lacking foresight.
shortsight view of improving student achievement," Larkin said.
"The better way is to work on the present system and try to improve that with an aggressive attendance policy (and) with better staff development, minimizing interruptions, for better-quality time in the classroom," he explained.
Despite concerns that more days in school would not improve students' learning, teachers have continued to participate in the planning to push for structural changes, Larkin said.
The reaction of teachers did not surprise Ingrassia, the Camarillo High junior who served on the task force. He said teachers, like students, will remain skeptics unless the program works.
"Teachers, at least the majority of them, enjoy teaching, and I think if they have more time, most of them will be more enthusiastic," Ingrassia said.
"I think all of us will be helped if we have more time to at least improve what we do now."