Posted by: laughs4dads | August 9, 2010

Exciting News for Schoolchildren

The Associated Press reports that Peach County, Georgia has joined 120 school districts across the US in shortening the school week to four days.

According to its website (seriously), the sun shines an average of 65.9% of the time in Peach County, so its schoolchildren can really enjoy that extra day off, which they probably spend playing computer games indoors.

This report raises an important question: Why the hell does every town, county and street name in Georgia have the word “peach” in it? Have you ever tried to get around Atlanta? Northeast Peachtree Street. Southwest Peachtree Street. North by Northwest Peachtree Street. Yes, I know Georgia is “The Peach State,” but they didn’t name every street in Albuquerque “Land of Enchantment Avenue,” did they?

Where was I? Oh, yes, the four-day school week. According to School Superintendent Susan Peach, tests scores actually went up when the number of school days went down. The article doesn’t say, however, what the scores were like before. But scores did go up. So did attendance, for children and teachers. And, I’m just kidding. Her name is Susan Clark.

It seems that (mostly) rural school districts across the country are experimenting with the four-day week, mostly as a cost-saving measure. The results are not always as positive as they’ve been in Peach Country. For instance, in Marlow, Oklahoma, the sun only shines an average of 58.6% of the time.

Actually, I have no idea how much the sun shines in Marlow, although “The Sun Shines in Marlow” sounds like a good title for a movie. Their school district, however, did go back to five days. “It was harder on the teachers,” the story quotes district Superintendent Bennie Newton as saying. “We were asking the kids to move at a quicker pace.”

Well, we wouldn’t want to do that, especially since it’s difficult to imagine what the regular pace in Marlow, Oklahoma might be.

Anyway, back to Peach County, which, again according to its website, actually ranks higher in production of pecans than it does in peaches. If kids do better with four days of school than with five, it seems to me that the logical next step is to try three days. Because, really, the only reason kids would do better with fewer days of school is because the schools really suck.

Also, fewer days of school would mean more time to spend at the national headquarters of the American Camellia Society, which houses acres of camellias and a museum with more than 300 porcelain birds, and which is conveniently located at Massee Lane in Peach County. It’s interesting to note, by the way, that either the Peach County website or the American Camellia Society website misspells “Massee Lane” (Peach Country spells it with one “e”), a possible indication of the local schools at work. And in case you’re wondering, a camellia is a flower, and the porcelain birds are the least migratory species in existence, and well worth the trip to see.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School in Jacksonville, Florida, which has a Medical Arts Program for kids as young as 12. It’s like any other advanced arts program, except instead of painting, the kids perform open heart surgery.

No, not really. But, according to Honey Berk’s post on ParentDish, the school’s seniors will already have four to seven years of medical education under their belts when they graduate from high school. One of the kids, a 9th-grader named Tony Hansbury, has already developed a new suturing technique, possibly as a result of also taking home economics classes.

Hopefully, this program will provide us with more doctors who don’t sound like someone from a tech support call center in Calcutta. But if they really want to churn out more doctors, they’ve got to cut down on school days.



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