Open Thread - Education: The downward spiral continues

I'd like to ask ePM's Hawaiian Blog mistress if there is more to this story than what it appears to be, but slashing education budgets and cutting down on days in school just does not strike me as a good thing to do:

In Hawaii, school's out for recession

At a time when President Barack Obama is pushing for more time in the classroom, his home state has created the nation's shortest school year under a new union contract that closes schools on most Fridays for the remainder of the academic calendar.

The deal whacks 17 days from the school year for budget-cutting reasons and has education advocates incensed that Hawaii is drastically cutting the academic calendar at a time when it already ranks near the bottom in national educational achievement.

While many school districts have laid off or furloughed teachers, reduced pay and planning days and otherwise cut costs, Hawaii's 171,000 public schools students now find themselves with only 163 instructional days, compared with 180 in most districts in the U.S.

Given our kids results, not just Hawaiian kids but US kids across the country, in comparison to other nation's kids you would think states would be considering longer school years and more money and resources for them? I know that this is an old report but I have yet to see anything to suggest these trends have changed. Even the reports suggesting otherwise - misleadingly with a lot of selective wording of their own, IMHO - read like "It could be worse" and "Yay! we haven't slipped into last place, yet.". Well?

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reporting from Hawaii. I searched for the article but came up empty ... there was a report that Hawaii ranked 50th (only DC ranked lower) in scholastic achievement. My two grand children went to school at an elementary school that lost its accreditation prior to the start of the 2009-2010 school year - and this was the case for many schools on the island.



  Hawaii United States
Total Number of Schools: 2008-09 10 284 92,334
Total Number of Public Schools Making AYP: 2008-09 11 101 61,225
Total Number of Schools in Need of Improvement: 2009-10 12 107 14,561
Total Number of Schools in Restructuring: 2009-10 13 73 5,776

from Ed Data Express

Furlough Fridays apply to all the government offices as well as the schools.

the economy to destroy the government. This is just a lovely kind of extreme libertarian anarchy they are foisting upon us all.