Monday, March 9, 2015

To BOE: Do not make decisions based on direction of the wind

Yesterday’s post about the Wake County Board of Education’s decision to chop three days off spring break and to use them as make-up days instead of sending Wake county students to Saturday and Good Friday classes drew interesting response, especially on Twitter where requests were made to write about an on-line petition against using spring break.

Yesterday’s post was not for or against using Saturdays and Good Friday and not for or against using spring break days. Yesterday’s post was to point out how the Wake County Board of Education sometimes makes decisions based on the way the wind blows. When the BOE decided to use Saturdays and Good Friday, the wind blew against the BOE, so they bowed to pressure not to use a Christian holy day or precious Saturdays to make up school time missed because of Mother Nature and inadequate snow/ice removal equipment to make it safe to transport lots of Johnnys and Johnnyettes to school.

So, instead of sailing into the wind, which, if the sails are set correctly can lead to magnificent speed and lots of tacking, the BOE decided to go with the wind but without testing those waters. Using its sometimes wishy-washy way of doing things, the BOE changed course and dropped those three holy days (Good Friday and two Saturdays) and chose three other holy days (three days of spring break, considered more holy than Easter to many citizens of Wake County).

At this writing, about 10 a.m., Monday morning, nearly than 5,600 signatures have been added to the on-line petition, probably at least 5,000 more than who protested the Saturdays/Good Friday make-up days, but this outcry from less than 5% of the total attendance is no reason for the BOE to face the pressure from the gale-force winds hitting it directly in the face. The BOE, meeting and announcing last Saturday to get this change in under the radar (didn’t work), would be foolish at this point of changing again. It would show a genuine weakness in its ability to act as it should. If it bows to the “save spring break” pressure, what’s next? Lots of issues come to mind.

SHORT SOLUTION: All that said, here’s a solution to this year’s missed school days: Open the schools for all six days: the two Saturdays, Good Friday, and the three days of Spring Break. Students would be required to attend three of the six, and a missed day would be an unexcused absence (doctor and preacher notes not accepted) and a “zero” for all class work that day. Teachers would be paid an additional three days either in dollars or vacation or retirement. Additional costs would be covered by savings from missed days.

LONG SOLUTION: The longtime solution to make-up days is easy, but requires more foresight and can be addressed in a simply-worded policy that states there is a week in the spring when school will not be in session. However, if necessary due to missed classes because of weather or any other reason, those days come first as make-up days. Parents should plan accordingly because this could mean school will be in session come hell or high water or snow or ice or gloom of night.
-------------------- word of the day
formication (noun) [fawr-mi-key-shuh n]: a tactile hallucination involving the belief that something is crawling on the body or under the skin

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